Revelation - Lesson 2
Lessons From The Seven Letters To Seven Churches
Background Information for the Teacher
- The student can explain the circumstances of the writing of the Book of Revelation.
- The student can cite at least three lessons we should learn from the letters to the seven churches.
- Post a picture of Christ as He appears in Revelation 1 or use the PowerPoint picture.
- If you choose to do it, have ready your visuals-overhead projector and transparencies, PowerPoint, chalkboard.
- Have enough of the student worksheets for all the students to have one.
- Have copies of Test 1 ready for students as they enter class. It is provided at the end of this lesson.
- Have pencils/pens ready for use.
- All students should have access to a Bible.
- Have a map for students to see that shows the seven cities of the seven churches of Asia.
- Get something with the Nike swoosh on it-an ad in the paper, a shoe, a t-shirt. You will use it toward the end of the class.
- Have cards or slips of paper with one of the following scriptures on each: Rev. 2:7; Rev. 2:10-b, 11; Rev. 2:17; Rev. 2:26-28; Rev. 3:5; Rev. 3:12; Rev. 3:21. You will hand these out so that these passages can be read quickly at the end of the class.
- Look under a separate document for Lesson 2 for a grade sheet on which to record the scores and do a class average.
As John, the apostle, is on the Island of Patmos, probably sometime around 80 to 90 AD, he received a vision from Christ who appears to him in a glorified form to tell him to record Christ's message to seven churches in Asia Minor and to get the message to them.
Lesson Plan for Conducting the Class
Introduction: (about 12 minutes)
- If you want to save some time, give the test to students as they enter or a few minutes before time for class to start. Ask them to complete it and you will give the answers later. If you prefer, you can wait until class starts and make the test time part of the instructional period.
- Call the roll, welcome visitors, and make any necessary announcements.
- Songs (as desired)
- All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
- How Majestic Is Your Name
- Prayer thanking God that He cares for His people and asking His guidance and protection on those in the class.
- Give the answers to the quiz as a review of last week's lesson. It is important at the first to encourage the students to accept the idea of a test in Bible class. Explain that this is a way to help them learn and to give them feedback on how much they are learning. It will also be fun to see if they can get the answers correctly each week and it will give you a chance to see how much the class is learning. You can do this and keep all grades totally anonymous because the students do not have to put their names on the test papers when they turn them in to be recorded. No. 1-a) Jerusalem; b) Rome; c) Religious and Political; d) Principles; e) End of the World No. 2-BNo. 3-symbolically No. 4-soonNo. 5-comfort; persecutionNo. 6-a) Satan, b) Rome (Empire), c) Cult of Emperor Worship No. 7-City of RomeThere are twelve responses asked for on this test. So divide 12 by 100 to get the number of points for each question-8.3 points. Have each student multiply each right answer by 8.3 and write it on his sheet. When you collect these, you can then record the grades for each student and get a class average. Try to keep the class average as high as possible as a motivation to students. While the number of items on the tests will vary each week, you can divide the number of them into 100 to get the points per item. A sheet for recording the grades is on a separate document in Excell. You can set it up to total the points per week and get the average. If you don't know how to do that, ask for help. It will make it much easier.
- Hand out the seven cards with scripture readings indicated and tell the students you will call on them to read toward the end of class.
Learning Experiences: (about 34 minutes)
- (Hand out Worksheet 2) Open your Bibles to Revelation 1 and we will get the answers for the worksheet as we look at the first few verses. No. 1. Q: According to the text, who wrote Revelation and where was he? (John, the apostle, Island of Patmos) Visual: The Island of Patmos was an Island in the Agean Sea not far from Ephesus. It was a place where Rome kept people it wanted to isolate from the general population.
- No. 2. Q: What day was it when John saw the vision and what was he doing? (The Lord's Day (Sunday) and he was "in the spirit," which probably means he was in a worshipping mode.
- No. 3. Visual. Q: What did John see, how did the person describe himself and what was he doing? (One like a man who said he was the first and the last and the living one. He was walking among seven lampstands.) Q: Who was this and what do the lampstands represent? (The person was Jesus and the lampstands represent His churches.)
- No. 4. Q: What did Jesus ask John to do? (Write what he sees and send it to seven churches.) Visual: Look on the map at where these seven churches are located.
- Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation contain seven letters Jesus dictated to John, one to each of the seven churches. We are going to look briefly at each letter to see what Jesus said to the churches and to see what lessons we can learn from what He told them. (Teacher: if you do not have time to use all the lessons below, choose from among them the ones that are the most important for your class and focus on those.)Someone read from the letter to the church at Ephesus-2:1-3. Q: How well did Jesus know the people of the church in Ephesus? (very well; He knows us well too) Q: What are some things He knew about them? (their hard work, their perseverance, that they had stood against false teachers, that they had endured hardships) It is good for us to know that Jesus keeps up with us and that He likes it when we stand up for what is right and when we work hard for Him. No. 5. (Jesus knows us very well and likes it when we take a stand against those who do not teach the truth.)
- Someone read from the letter to the church in Smyrna-2:9. Q: What does Jesus mean that He knows their poverty but they are rich? (Poor in this world's goods and yet rich in spiritual blessings which mean much more.) We must never measure our success or that of anyone else by how much money we have or the clothes we wear or the car we drive. Being rich toward God is the most important thing. (Luke 12:21). No. 6. (Even if we are poor in this world's goods, we can be truly rich.)
- Someone read from the letter to the church in Pergamum-2:14. Q: What practices had the church in Pergamum allowed which Jesus said were sin. (eating food sacrificed to idols and committing fornication) Q: Why do you suppose these things were special temptations to these people? (Those around them were doing it.) So Jesus says there are absolute standards of morality and among them are these: we must not do things to worship idols and must not commit sexual immorality. Our decisions about moral issues should not be set by those around us but by the standards of Jesus. No. 7. (Jesus wants us to avoid worshipping idols and committing sexual sin. We should let Jesus set our standards, not the world around us.)
- Someone read from the letter to the church in Thyatira-2:19. Q: In what direction were the Christians in Thyatira moving in their service to God? (Doing more and more-their last works were more than their first.) Q: What are some things in which each of us could be growing in service? (Doing more to help the needy, inviting more people to our class, sharing our faith more often. —Teacher: try to find some service done by those in the class for which to commend them.) No. 8. (We should be growing or improving or increasing in our service.)
- Someone read form the letter to the church in Sardis-3:1-2. Q: How was the church in Sardis different from the church in Thyatira? (They were not active, they were dead, they never finished what they started.) So from the church in Sardis we learn the same lesson as from Thyatira. Christ wants us to be active, serving, working, helping, involved. By No. 9 on your worksheet, write down a way you want to improve your service to Christ.
- Someone read from the letter to the church in Philadelphia-3:8. Q: What had Christ set before the church in Philadelphia? (An open door.) Q: What does this mean? (opportunity) Q: Does Christ set opportunities before us today? (Yes. See if the class can name a few.) By No. 10 on your worksheet, write down an open door you think Christ has given you.
- Someone read from the letter to the church in Laodicea-3:14-20. Q: How does Christ describe the condition of the church in Laodicea? (lukewarm, had a high opinion of themselves) Q: What does Christ call on them to do? (Be earnest and repent.) Q: What did Christ say He would do if they did not repent? (spit them out of His mouth.) So after one starts as a Christian, he or she could wander away and become unfaithful and displease Christ. This could result in Christ removing the person from a relationship with Him. So, if we have become lukewarm or have wandered away, we should repent-change-and get back on the right track. No. 11. (If we wander away, we should repent.)
- I have given seven scripture readings to seven different ones in the class. As they read these scriptures, the rest of you should be preparing to answer two questions: (1) As Christ ends each letter, what does he call on each of these churches to do? and (2) What rewards does He promise if they do this? Now, please read your scriptures in order. Q: What does Christ call on each of the churches to do? (To overcome.) The word translated overcome is the Greek word "nike." Visual: Nike. So every time you see this swoosh, think of Nike-overcome. No. 12. (All the letters promise great rewards to those who overcome. This is from the Greek word Nike.) Part of your assignment for next time is to take your Bible and fill in at No.13 the rewards promised at the end of each of the seven letters.
Applications have been made all during the lesson. As you have time you can emphasize any of these you wish.
Assignment: (1 minute)
- Complete item 13 on the worksheet about the rewards.
- Prepare for a quiz over the material on the worksheet at the beginning of the next class period.
- Look over chapters 4 through 11 of Revelation for the next class.
- Give the class a quiz at the beginning of the next class period. (Download test over Lesson 1 Below)
- The apostle __________________ wrote the Book of Revelation when he was exiled on the Island of _________________.
- John saw the vision on the ___________ ___________ when he was in the ______________.
- John saw one who looked like a man but was radiant. He said he was the _______ and the ______________ and the _________________ one. (v. 17) He was walking among seven __________________.
- Jesus asked John to write down what he saw and ____________ it to seven ____________________.
- From the church in Ephesus we learn than Jesus _________________ us very well and He likes it when we take a __________________ against those who do not teach the truth.
- From the church in Smyrna we learn that even if we are ___________ in this world’s goods, we can be truly ______________.
- From the church in Pergamum we learn that Jesus wants us to avoid worshipping ____________ and ______________ sins. We should let ____________ set our standards, not the world around us.
- From the church in Thyatira we learn to be __________________ in our service.
- I could improve my service to Christ by:
- A door Christ has opened for me is:
- From Laodicea we learn that if we wander away from Christ we should ______________
- All the letters promise great rewards to those who _________________. This is from the Greek word ___________.
- During the week, read the last verse or verses of each of the seven letters and list the rewards Jesus promises to those who overcome.
Back to Revelation
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