Summary: Ephesus – Everything but the One Thing - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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(1). Introduction to the Letters.

(2). The City and the Church.

(3). An Analysis of the letter.

• Address (vs 1a).

• Attribute (vs 1b).

• Approval (vs 2-3).

• Accusation (vs 4-5).

• Advice (vs 5).

• Assurance (vs 7).

• Appeal (vs 7).


Most people have an opinion about their local church:

• We have all heard or maybe even used phrases like:

• 'It's too dead'; 'It's too old-fashioned';

• 'It's too liberal'; 'It's too modern';

• 'It's too charismatic'; 'It's too Reformed'.


• I like the ‘tongue in cheek reply one man gave an interviewer.

• When asked what was his favourite type of Church;

• He replied, “Red brick”.

• TRANSITION: The one opinion that counts regarding the Church is not yours or mine;

• It is Jesus Christ!

• What does he think about a local Church.

• No opinion can be more important than his!

(1). Introduction.

In the book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3:

• Jesus looks at a tiny group of seven churches in the Roman province of Asia.

• Today this area is called Turkey.

• Jesus looks at a tiny group of seven churches and he lets us what he thinks;

• We contained in Revelation chapters 2 and 3;

• Exactly what Jesus thought about each congregation,

• And as on lookers it is possible for us to construct a composite picture;

• Of the sort of church he would like to see today.

Question: Why were these seven Churches singled out?

• Why was Smyma chosen and not Philippi?

• Why Sardis chosen and not Corinth or Rome?

• Well if you read a few commentaries you can find some ‘interesting’ ideas;

• e.g. some say the seven Churches symbolise seven consecutive periods in Church history

• That idea sounds plausible at first;

• But as you study it,

• Well in my opinion it soon becomes forced and artificial in the end.

Answer: Let me suggest three reasons why these seven churches.

FIRST: Geographically.

• These cities were readily accessible to each other;

• And with Ephesus being an important city port,

• These cities were also accessible to the rest of the world.


• Sir William Ramsay (the classical scholar and archaeologist);

• Says that the Roman province of Asia was divided into seven main postal areas,

• And that the collection or distribution point in each area;

• Coincided with the seven cities in Revelation.

• So the messages to the individual churches;

• Are arranged in an order that would be naturally followed by a Postman or woman;

• Arriving by sea at Ephesus.

• The postman/woman could walk a circular route from the major sea port of Ephesus;

• Heading north up the coast,

• Then inland to the east and finally south to the rich valley of the river Meander.

• So one reason these seven Churches were chosen;

• May well be their geographical link.

SECOND: Spiritually.

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