The Church in Revelation

Have you ever heard the reasoning that the church will not be here on earth after the rapture because the word "church" is not used after Revelation chapter 3?  Dave Bussard has a great post with some insights that I had not yet considered.  Here is the link to his blog also known as The Pre-wrath Tribune.  Follow this link.
 
Dave’s post on 6-27-07 deals with the way the text is presented throughout the book of Revelation as a whole.  The reason why the word "church" is used so frequently in the first three chapters (Dave asserts) is due to the fact that Jesus Himself is dictating to John exactly what to write.  Then the big shift occurs in chapter 4 where the word church is not used again until chapter 22.  Here is where Jesus is no longer directly dictating to John what to write, but instead John is observing and writing things with his own personality shaping the words.  In chapter 22 when the word "church" appears again, it is Jesus once again giving direct dictation to John.  Dave’s thoughts on this are quite insightful.
 
Here are some thoughts I posted awhile back on a message board.  I’m a bit more blunt than Dave.
 
If I wrote a letter to a group of friends, opened the letter "dear friends", reaffirmed several times with the term "friends" in the first couple sections of my letter, then used synonyms for the middle section of the letter, then closed the letter, "this letter has been to my friends", how many of you would consider that middle section to not apply to you at all simply because synonyms for "friends" were used?

This argument from silence proves absolutely nothing coming from the PreTrib camp. Here are the facts.

1:1 ~ "to shew unto his servants"

1:4 ~ "to the seven churches"

1:13, 20 ~ Christ walks among the churches.

Chapters 2 and 3 show that the contents of these messages are for the churches. There is NO mention in the text that John and Christ are addressing a completely different group of people.

In the subsequent chapters we have the words

"saints" (13 times in chapters 5, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20),

"kings and priests",

"the souls of them that were slain for the word of God",

"those washed white in the blood of the Lamb",

"servants",

"our brethren",

"those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ",

"the blessed dead",

"them that had gotten the victory over the beast",

"the martyrs of Jesus",

"called, and chosen, and faithful",

"ye that fear Him, both small and great",

"His wife",

"the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus",

"those who lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years",

"His people",

"they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life",

"he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book",

 Then at the close of the book of Revelation, we have this epilogue.

"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things IN THE CHURCHES."

The book opens to the churches, it contains truth for the churches, and it closes as being TO THE CHURCHES. Yet so many dispensationalists with a preconceived framework to prove, carve out entire sections of this book as being completely inapplicable to whom Jesus originally addressed it to. That’s sad.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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