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The Magnificent Seven

Happy Holiday! As we close out this year, we pray you have enjoyed our blogs.

I don’t know about you, but I used to enjoy watching western especially this one.

The Magnificent Seven is a 1960 American Western film. The Magnificent Seven). The ensemble cast includes Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, and Horst Buchholz as a group of seven gunfighters, and Eli Wallach as their main antagonist. The seven title characters are hired to protect a small village in Mexico from a group of marauding bandits. The film was released by United Artists on October 12, 1960. It was both a critical and commercial success and has been appraised as one of the greatest films of the Western genre. It was also deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"

The Plot…

A gang of bandits periodically raids a poor village for food and supplies. After the latest raid, the village leaders decide they have had enough. On the advice of the village elder, they decide to fight back. Taking their few objects of value, three villagers ride to a town just inside the United States border hoping to barter for weapons. They are impressed by Chris Adams, a veteran Cajun gunslinger, and approach him for advice. Chris suggests they instead hire gunfighters to defend the village, as "men are cheaper than guns." At first agreeing only to help them recruit men, Chris eventually decides to lead the group. Despite the meager pay offered, he finds five willing gunmen. Arriving at the village, they work with the villagers to build fortifications and train them to defend themselves. The gunmen begin to bond with the villagers, some fearful villagers thereupon call for the gunfighters to leave. Even some of the seven wavers, but Chris insists that they stay, even threatening to kill anyone who suggests giving up the fight.

The seven ride out to make a surprise raid on Calvera's camp, but find it abandoned. Returning to the village, they are caught by Calvera and his men, who have colluded with some of the villagers to sneak in and take control. Calvera spares the seven's lives, believing they have learned the simple farmers are not worth fighting for and fearing reprisals from the gunfighters' "friends" across the border. Preparing to depart, Chris and Vin admit they have become emotionally attached to the village.

The seven gunmen are escorted some distance from the village, where their weapons are returned to them. They debate their next move and all but Harry, who believes the effort will be futile and suicidal, agree to return and fight.

The gunmen infiltrate the village, and a gunfight breaks out. Harry, who has had a change of heart, returns in time to save Chris's life but is himself fatally shot. Harry pleads to know what they were fighting for, and Chris lies about a hidden gold mine to let Harry believe he died for a fortune; Harry smiles before dying. Lee finds the nerve to burst into a house where several villagers are being held, shooting their captors, and releasing the prisoners to join the fight, but is gunned down as he leaves the house. Bernardo, shot protecting the boys he befriended, tells them as he dies to see how bravely their fathers fought. Britt dies after shooting at many bandits but exposing himself from cover. Chris shoots Calvera, who asks him, "You came back... to a place like this? Why? A man like you. Why?" He dies without receiving an answer. The remaining bandits take flight. The three surviving gunmen ride out of town. As they stop atop a hill overlooking the village,

The story is indicative to so many of our communities today that are in in need of an answer to the trouble that is befalling us all. As are entering this season where we say we celebrate Chris. Let’s not fool ourselves in the indulging of giving gift verses giving the gift of life which is the ultimate present, all other things temporal. As a matter of fact. The scriptures say Lay not up your treasure on earth where moth and rust and thieves break through and steal but lay them up in heaven.

As we end our last year blog, we’re reminded of the Seven messages to the Seven Churches.

This was a fight they didn't want but wanted to do what they thought was right. even if it meant losing their own lives. What are we willing to do as we close this year to make sure our salvation is secure?

The Quest Question

What’s the one thing you need to go back and get right before the end and the beginning of this New Year in your life.

As you ponder that let me remind you of the Magnificent Seven Churches of Asia Minor.

The seven churches described in Revelation 2-3 are seven literal churches at the time that John the apostle was writing Revelation. Though they were literal churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and believers today.

1.The first purpose of the letters was to communicate with the literal churches and meet their needs at that time.

2.The second purpose is to reveal seven different types of individuals/churches throughout history and instruct them in God’s truth.

The Seven Churches describes issues that could fit the Church in any time in its history. Our focus is what message God is giving us through the seven churches.

(1) Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) - the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4). The first church mentioned is the Church of Ephesus. To this church, Jesus commended them for their endurance, their longsuffering, and their dislike of false doctrine and evil behavior. He chided them however, “ have abandoned the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4b). They no longer had the burning, consuming passion for their God they had when they were first saved and settled into the routine of the faith. He encourages them to find that fire again and continue where they were doing well.

(2) Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) - the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).

The Church of Smyrna received words of comfort. They were mocked and persecuted for their faith, and it was going to get worse before it got better. It was not a wealthy church either, with opportunities to flee and take refuge somewhere else. Theologians believe many of the laborers of this church were expelled from their labor guilds - and unable to legally work in their craft - because of their conversion. The Lord said, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Though they would suffer in this life, God had a reward for them.

(3) Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) - the church that needed to repent (2:16).

The Church of Pergamum was surrounded by wickedness in their city, but they held fast to their beliefs. Their location was so full of wickedness the Bible calls it, “where Satan’s throne is...the place where Satan dwells” (Revelation 2:13). However, there were members of the church who still held onto their former traditions, not willing to let go of their idols. Others indulged in false doctrine. Jesus calls on this church to stop these sins. They did receive consolation as well because many from this church had been martyred.

(4) Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) - the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).

In Thyatira, the church was also having problems with false teachers. There was a woman in the church who claimed to be a prophetess, who committed sins of sexual immorality, and whose behavior was reminiscent of Jezebel, Ahab’s wicked wife, whose story is told in 1 Kings. Despite the church’s love, patience, and endurance, they tolerate this wicked woman taking an inappropriate role of leadership, giving false prophecies, and being flagrantly sinful. God has given this woman, and the church, time to turn from this sin; “I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality” (Revelation 2:21). The message ends with encouragement for those who did not follow this prophetess.

(5) Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) - the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).

Sardis was a seemingly active church, full of good works. The city of Sardis was also a city of wealth, known for the carpet industry and for minting coins. However, the wealth and good works of this church meant nothing because the church was spiritually dead. They epitomized a church that seemed good, but many had cold hearts toward the Lord. They most likely put their faith in their works, prideful and assuming they were saved, or in good standing with the Lord. The message is, “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God” (Revelation 3:2). The church was not beyond hope, but it needed to find that passion for Christ again.

(6) Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) - the church that had endured patiently (3:10).

The next church, in Philadelphia, receives encouragement and affirmation in their message. Despite poverty and hardship, they stayed true to God. “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8). Jesus wanted this body of believers to continue as they were, and they would spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

(7) Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) - the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

Finally, John addresses the Church of Laodicea. While the other churches received some encouragement or commendation from the Lord, this church received no positive words. Like Sardis, Laodicea had an abundance of resources but held an indifferent spirit - described as lukewarm - toward the Lord. He wants them to grow hot or cold toward Him, but not to remain lacking in any passion toward the faith. While they were doing well in an earthly fashion, they were spiritually lacking. Here, Jesus asks for them to let Him in. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Despite their lack of spirituality, Christ waits expectantly for them to open their hearts to Him.

The seven church periods are:

1. The Apostolic Church ≈ 30 - 300 A.D.

2. The Martyr Church ≈ 100 - 313 A.D.

3. The Compromising Church ≈ 314 - 590 A.D.

4. The Roman Catholic Church ≈ 590 - 1517 A.D.

5. The Reformation Church ≈ 1517-1700

6. The Revival Church ≈ 1700-1900

7. The Worldly Church ≈ 1900- Rapture

So why seven? Seven is the number of perfection or completion in the Bible. The Lord had seven messages to give before He revealed the visions of the End Times to John, which set the pattern of seven throughout the book. There were seven stars and seven lampstands. There are also seven angels blowing seven trumpets which herald seven judgments. These trumpets follow seven seals of judgements. The Tribulation period lasts seven years.

Christians should meditate on these things, but not allow the unanswered questions to dictate their lives. In his second letter to the church at Thessalonica, Paul answered some questions they had about the days. To them, he gave this advice, “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

Modern Christians should study the example of these four churches, and even ponder their contemporary significance, but ultimately, they should strive to live in obedience with the Great Commission and follow God’s leading. Looking forward to Christ’s return, Christians are called to live for Him, even if every question about the Book of Revelation remains a mystery.


As we close

It’s also important to note that the Ten Commandments predate the seven deadly sins, as they were issued around 1450 B.C. Apart from Exodus and Deuteronomy, Proverbs and Galatians are other notable books that extensively address the seven cardinal sins.

Proverbs 6:16-19 reads, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

1. A proud look,

2. A lying tongue,

3. Hands that shed innocent blood,

4. A heart that devises wicked plans,

5. Feet that are swift in running to evil,

6. A false witness who speaks lies, and

7. One who sows discord among brethren.”

On its part, Galatians doesn’t just identify the capital vices, but it also adds a few more sins to the list. In Galatians 5:19 – 21,

How Serious Are the Seven Deadly Sins?

In the eyes of God, all sins are equal. And according to Romans 6:23, God can forgive all sins if we humbly pray. Still, the seven deadly sins not only stifle our spiritual but also our physical growth. The only way to overcome them is to continually seek the intervention of the Holy Spirit through prayer.

Have a wonderful Holiday and Blessed start to your New Year.

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