How do we avoid compromising our faithfulness to Jesus when we’re under stress and in pain? Watch the featured video, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 51.
Once you've watched the featured video, take time to reflect on these questions.
How does this video disrupt or expand your understanding of the book of Revelation?
Name one thing you notice about the structure of the letter.
How would you summarize one of the key ideas of this video in your own words?
John begins his letter by describing a vision of the risen Jesus, standing among seven burning lights that represent seven local churches in Asia Minor. Jesus knows the churches are suffering violence and persecution and that they will need encouragement to persevere. So he calls John to write letters to each church to help them choose faithfulness and overcome apathy and moral compromise. Jesus warns that the dangers of compromise are far greater than any threat of persecution and the rewards of returning to him are also far greater. He promises the blessings of a united Heaven and Earth to all those who return to him.
How does John describe Jesus in Revelation 1:4-8 and 1:12-16? How does Jesus describe himself in John’s vision in Revelation 1:17-18? Create a list of these descriptions, and then choose one description to think about, visualize, and appreciate for a moment.
Review chapters 2 and 3. What specific acts and attitudes of faithfulness receive Jesus’ compliments and encouragement? What specific compromises does Jesus expose? What are the dangers of these compromises?
What is Jesus’ promised reward for the churches who do not compromise and instead choose faithfulness to him? Referring to your list (question 1), how is each promise related to who Jesus is and what he has already done?
Can you imagine being apathetic, cruel, or greedy while encountering a vision of the risen Jesus? Why or why not? Review the list you made at the beginning of this reflection. How do you think remembering these vivid descriptions of Jesus can help us conquer the temptation to compromise our faithfulness to him?