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Pergamum, Thyatira and Sardis
John is in Patmos, he probably thought his preaching days were over: he was now an old man and he is exiled on the island of Patmos. In spite of this he is to take on the most important job of his life: to see the future and to deliver a message to the churches that is frightening, awe inspiring and ultimately greatly encouraging and motivating.
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Ephesus and Smyrna
There’s an old hymn tune entitled ‘Church Triumphant’. It’s a great tune (often sung to the words ‘I know that my redeemer lives’) but I wonder at that title. We’re about to meet seven churches and their dominant characteristics are hardly triumphant. But as we will see there is an ultimate victory to be secured.
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Tying up loose ends
Often a novel will develop various themes, ideas and stories which don’t get resolved until the last chapter of the book – there is a sort of climax accompanied by a ‘tying up of loose ends’. This is just what we see in the book of Revelation.