Q. Thank you so much for your service to the Lord by having this website. So many questions are answered with solid sound doctrine. This is something we sheep need so desperately today.
My question concerns the 7 Letters written to the 7 Churches. Some say that the Lord is addressing true believers and some say that he was addressing all those who profess faith in Him. Some were/are truly saved and some were/are not.
I was raised Roman Catholic. When I was 16 I rejected Christianity because it seemed to me that Jesus was always sending me to hell for something that I did or did not do. At 21, for the very first time I heard the true Gospel of Grace, the Gospel of our Salvation. I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and was baptized to that testimony.
As I began to read the 7 letters to 7 Churches, I recognized the Roman Catholic Church in Churches 3 and 4, Pergamos and Thyatira. Especially Thyatira. In the Letters, as I understood it, Christ was speaking to all those who say they know Him. The over comers did and those who didn’t overcome didn’t. I was an over comer, coming out of a background of Roman Catholicism (Thyatira). I had found the truth and believed. Sardis which represents the Reformation period, has a name that they live but they are dead. Why were/are they really dead?
I see this as being those from the Reformed and Covenant Churches that claim the name of Christ, but teach that you can lose salvation. If you can lose it, then your salvation was never really based on Christ alone, no matter how much you claim His name and say that you know Him.
My question is this, are the Letters written to the 7 Churches written to all believers, or to all who claim His name, some saved (the over comers), but some that are not saved, being professors only (not overcoming)?
A. The letters are written to all in the church who profess a faith in the Lord, not just those who truly believe. As you indicate, in both Thyatira and Sardis some are saved and others are not.
The letter to Sardis is a condemnation of dead orthodoxy, the act of intellectual ascent without emotional commitment. Salvation is a matter of the heart, not the head. And you’re correct, those who teach that we can lose our salvation are not really basing our salvation on the Lord’s work alone, but also on ours.
For more, in-depth study on these letters, see my series, Seven Letters to Seven Churches