We leave the letter to the seven churches behind when we translate it too quickly to a prophetic word about our time or anytime to come for that matter. Not that it is without a current or a future context. It's just that making it all about our time - or a time to come - does not do justice to John or those long gone who suffered tribulation in real time. John is as much a pastor as he is a prophet and his people are being put upon by the powers that be while he is exiled and far from the parishes that are his charge. In the spirit of the Lord he shares a vision where "goodness is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death." (Desmond Tutu) Those who in our time have profited off this pastoral / prophetic work have missed the point. Endurance is not about escape. It comes from courage that engages the world as it is so that by the witness of perseverance the world might be convicted and given the chance to become what it was meant to be.