The Seven Churches of Revelation (Revelation 2-3)Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project
The messages to the seven churches emphasize the importance of works in the Christian life, and thus indirectly contribute to a proper understanding of work in general. The messages to several churches begin, “I know your works . . .” Ephesus is rebuked for not doing the works they did at first (Rev. 2:5), and Sardis likewise has not completed the work it ought to have done for Jesus (Rev. 3:2).
It bears repeating that “works” are not a bad thing in the Bible. They are rather the concrete expression of our love for God. The myth that God only cares about our heart and our feelings is a major reason work in general has been given short shrift in some Protestant circles.
There is evidence that the notorious worldliness of the Laodicean church was evident in its outlook on work and economics. When Jesus counsels these believers to buy from him gold refined in the fire, white garments to hide their nakedness, and salve to heal their eyes, he is likely playing off three of the major industries in Laodicea: banking, wool, and ophthalmology. It seems likely that the Laodiceans assumed that the resources available to them from their culture were all they needed in life. Churches, especially in prosperous countries, must recognize that material abundance can often mask spiritual poverty. Success in our work should never lead us to a sense of self-sufficiency.
Table of Contents
- The Seven Churches of Revelation (Revelation 2-3)
Contributors: Sean McDonough
Adopted by the Theology of Work Project Board August 2007. Revised November 10, 2010. Image by Used under license from Veer . Used by permission.
Author: Theology of Work Project
Theology of Work Project Online Materials by Theology of Work Project, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.theologyofwork.org
You are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work), and remix (to adapt the work) for non-commercial use only, under the condition that you must attribute the work to the Theology of Work Project, Inc., but not in any way that suggests that it endorses you or your use of the work.
© 2007 by the Theology of Work Project, Inc.
Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.