“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:6-14)
Hearing the words of Jesus above, no one will dispute the fact that this world is closer to the end than ever before. Many claim we are, in fact, living in the End Times. So how should Christians behave under the turbulent and distressing circumstances we are in?
The Book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John as he received a vision from God of the Eschaton, the final event in the divine plan and when judgment would come upon the world. The first three chapters contains seven letters addressed to seven churches in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey).
Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea were prominent cities located along an established, circular trade route. They were the equivalent of present-day New York, London, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney, and Hong Kong. The Christian communities established in these cities had great influence on the other churches in the then-known world.
Each of the seven letters in Revelation declares the triumphs and failings of a particular church and warns the respective congregation to repent while there is still time. The messages are prophetic in nature and speak relevance to the Christian Church today of similar pitfalls that can jeopardize our faithfulness to Christ as well as how we can stand firm to the end.