Summary: These letters deal with the good, bad, and the ugly.
An Overview of The Seven Churches of Revelation
In chapters two and three of Revelation we have an address from the Lord to the seven churches of Asia. These letters deal with the good, bad, and the ugly. Jesus is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; Galatians 2:6; James 2:1). He deals with all of mankind righteously, according to His Word (John 12:48). In dealing with these seven churches, only two receive commendation, Smyrna and Philadelphia. Four of the remaining five receive both commendation
and reprimand. The church in Laodicea receives only reprimand. Jesus is clear on the fact that repentance is required to overcome His reprimand.
I. To the church at Ephesus, Revelation 2:1-7.
A. The inspired record relating to the beginning of this
congregation is found in Acts 19. Verses 17-20 highlight the
love the Ephesians had for truth and righteousness.
B. Geographic information:
1. A coastal city located off of the Aegean Sea.
2. Great economic importance.
a. Import and export. Three major trade routes came
b. Temple of Diana, or Artemis located here.
One of the seven wonders of the world. This Temple was four
hundred and twenty five feet long, two hundred and twenty five
feet wide, and sixty feet high. It had a stairway made from
solid vine from Cyprus. This was an elaborate Temple where the
god Diana was worshiped. Idol worship was a great
economic contributor (Acts 19:23-28).
c. Free city. A miniature Rome, complete with self rule,
and military might.
d. Ephesus was a judicial center. Rome would try the
e. Annual games were held here.
C. The church in Ephesus was informed.
1. Paul spent many hours laboring with the brethren here
2. Timothy the evangelist (2 Timothy 4:2,5), labored with this congregation as their preacher
3. Tradition says that John son of Zebedee spent many
of his last years here. Ephesus was only between sixty
to seventy miles from Patmos.
4. Verses 2 and 6, demonstrate the fact that the Ephesians
knew the truth. They were a doctrinally sound congregation.
1. They worked and toiled, v.2. The word toiled is
discussing the fact that they labored until the point
2. They were patient, v.2. Verse three defines their patience.
3. They would not bear evil men, v.2. The word bear means
“to support as a burden, to pick up and to carry”. They
tried those who falsely called themselves apostles, and took
the proper action when they proved that they were in error.
b. Ezekiel 3:16-21 demonstrates the principle involved here.
4. They hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, v.6.
a. The word “Nicolaitans” is the product of combining the word
“Laos” (people), with the word “Niklam” (to conquer). We
will look further into their teaching when we study the
letter to the church at Pergamum.
b. It is not enough to love the things God loves. We must