To the ANGEL of the CHURCH in:
1. Ephesus – Revelation 2:1
2. Smyrna – Revelation 2:8
3. Pergamum – Revelation 2: 12
4. Thyatira – Revelation 2:18
5. Sardis – Revelation 3:1
6. Philadelphia – Revelation 3:7
7. Laodicea – Revelation 3: 14
Question: If Jesus were writing a letter to you or your church, what would be the content of the letter? Knowing that Jesus knows your works (Revelation 2:2a). In Revelation Chapters 2 & 3, there were 7 letters written to 7 churches. (Revelation 1:11).
– John was on the Island of Patmos when (Revelation 1:9) because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
– In Revelation 1:12-13;16, John saw a vision of Jesus Christ moving in His Churches and holding the Seven Angels of the Seven Churches Revelation 1:20.
– These Churches are real Churches in real cities. The Church in Smyrna and the Church in Philadelphia are commended. Jesus has absolutely nothing negative to say about these two
Churches. However, the other 5 Churches are in trouble. The Church in Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea.
– It is important to note that what is happening in these Churches is happening all around the world in different Churches.
– The books of Acts 18, 19 and 20; 1 Timothy and The Book of Ephesians provide the background for the Church in Ephesus.
– Although, Pergamum was a major intellectual and cultural centre in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, and the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon, Ephesus was by far the greatest City in Asia
– Ephesus was the Chief City of the Province of Asia Minor. It was known as the Vanity City of Asia. It had its own Port, a large population; it was the centre for trade, commerce and business. It was a City of Science and Culture. One of the 7 wonders of the world was in Ephesus (the Great Temple of Artemis).
– The bank of Asia was in this Temple. It was also an art gallery, a museum, and a sanctuary for criminals. The worst criminals in the world found sanctuary in Ephesus. Business was booming…
Selling idols, sorcery books, and magic books. (In Acts 19:19 – “Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they
counted up the value of them, and it totalled fifty thousand pieces of silver.”… “HERE WAS WHERE THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS WAS LOCATED”
In Revelation 2:2-3, according to Jesus, these believers in this Church were doing everything right:
A. They were hard at work, fighting the good fight.
B. They were hard at work, protecting the Gospel.
C. They were on fire for righteousness.
D. They consider how people were living around them and confronted sin.
E. They called out fake apostles, pastors and teachers of the Bible and rebuke them.
F. They endured both physical and spiritual attacks coming from outside the Church.
G. They had sound Theology (they had discernment – “And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars”)
H. They hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans. Sexual immorality and eating food offered to idols. AND they did it all for Christ.
In a nutshell, if this Church existed today, this would be the Church you wanted to be a part of. They did everything right.
Revelation 2:4 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
The love they had when they first knew Christ was gone.
The Church at Ephesus was fighting spiritual battles, they were persevering. They had discernment,
hated sin (did not tolerate sin), and they had sound doctrine and theology… BUT they have left their first love.
The love of Christ is gone, and that is the beginning of going from being an Ephesus Church (loveless Church) to end up being a Laodicea Church (a lukewarm Church – Revelation 3:15)
Ephesus – Loveless Church
Pergamum – Compromising Church
Thyatira – Corrupt Church
Sardis – Dead Church
Laodicea – Lukewarm Church
Revelation 2:5 “Remember therefore from where you have fallen” … Remember; go back; remember how it was when you had that revelation of Jesus Christ; Remember when you first met Christ;
Remember your first love; And then repent, and then do the things you did at the beginning.
IF YOU DO NOT Jesus says REPENT OR ELSE He will shut down the Church… Revelation 2:5 “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to
you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” Revelation 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” … Listen, Please listen…
Understand the danger of abandoning your first love…
At times, fighting the spiritual battle before us and worrying about all that is around us can be so overwhelming and consuming that we focus on the battle and the duties but forget the first love.
We can focus on fasting, praying, doctrine, and so on that we forget the commandment of Jesus Christ.
Jesus says that “if you overcome, you will make Heaven”