Promises. We all get a lot of them. Promises are only as good as the one making the promise. Making promises isn’t the same as wishful thinking. To give a good promise you must have the ability to deliver on that promise. In each of the letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor in Revelation 2-3, Jesus makes a promise to bring something — good or bad — to someone because of what they have done or not done. In every case, Jesus makes it clear he possesses what is necessary to fulfill his promise.
Each of the seven letters starts with a description of the ascended, victorious Christ. Then at some point in each letter Jesus promises something to either those who have persisted in wickedness or faithfulness. John has done a masterful job of connecting promises with aspects of Jesus’ description in each letter so that the point is driven home that Jesus possesses the ability to deliver on what he has said. (Click here for a PDF of this chart.)
We don’t just serve a God of wishful thinking. Jesus doesn’t just hope he can help us. We aren’t just crossing our fingers and wishing on a star. Our God makes promises, and He possesses all that is necessary to fulfill those promises.