Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What if we are in the last period of history?

When I was a child, I remember an evangelist saying we were living in the Philadelphia church. I honestly thought the man was crazy because I was living in Indiana at that time!!! Preachers just have no idea what kids hear, do they?

But that was the late 50s, and I think he was on the verge of being both right and wrong. If we can put approximate dates to each of the 7 churches - periods of time in history....he was on the cusp for sure.

Periods of church history:

1. Ephesus (desireable) Pentecost to 100AD

Good works, rejection of false teachings

2. Smyrna (myrrh – embalming the dead) 100AD- 313 AD – persecuted

major persuctions of the church under 10 different Roman Emperors:

1. Nero AD54

2. Domitian AD 81

3. Trajan, AD 98

4. Adrian, AD 117

5. Septimus Severus, AD 193

6. Maximum, AD 235

7. Decius, AD 249

8. Valerian, AD 254

9. Aurelian, AD 270

10. Diocletian, AD 284

3. Pergamos 313AD – 460AD. Thoroughly married. Paganism married with the church

Constantine was converted and declared that Christianity would be the State Religion. Incorporation of Pagan rituals into religious rituals in order to get more converts.

4. Thyatira 460 AD – 1517 AD – corrupt

Growing power of the Roman Papacy. Mass became obligatory.

5. Sardis 1517 AD – 1750 AD – reformation

Major translations of the Bible, major splits in various religions. Martin Luther, John Calvin…..

6. Philadelphia 1750 AD – 1950/70 - missions

World wide evangelism. Revivals. Religious cults.

7. Laodicea -1950/70 - ? - personal rights

It's all about what your own personal rights are...the rights of this group or that, the rights of one sector of a population against another. We are definitely living in this period today!

I have read those who believe the Laodicea period started as early as 1880, but I don't see how anyone can believe that revivals ended then. They were definitely going on in the 50s and 60s when I was a child. And there was a continued emphasis on missions during that time frame. Not going to argue it because again, this is simply what I believe.

When you step back and look at the overall, global picture....the meanings of the words of the names of the churches can be tied to periods of history - in the order that the churches were listed. And while the dates are approximate, the overall sequence of events is all there. Because we are at the "end", we can look back and see it exactly as it happened. But do we have the faith to look forward and know what is next?

In Rev 3:17 it was written to the Laodiceans "Because you-are-saying, Because I-am rich and I-have-become-rich-and-am-still-rich and also I-am not having one need, and you-know not absolutely that you yourself are the one miserable and pitiful and destitute and blind and naked,"

May I always know that I am miserable, pitiful, destitute, blind and naked. Because if I am such, then I will always study to learn the truth.

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