Summary: This is a study of the book of Revelation Chapter by chapter CHAPTER 2 PART 2
What modern-day church, in your experience and opinion, is mist vibrant and God honoring? Why
If Jesus were to commission one of His apostles to write a letter to our church, what sort of things would He commend us for? Rebuke us for? Why? And how can we fix them?
The seven churches addressed in chapters 2 and 3 were actual existing churches when John wrote. But while not precisely duplicated, they also represent the types of churches that are generally present throughout the entire church age.
5 of the 7 churches (Smyrna & Philadelphia being the exceptions) were rebuked for tolerating sin in their midst, not an uncommon occurrence in churches since. The problems in those churches ranged in severity from weakening love at Ephesus to total apathy at Laodicea. It is important for us to understand that any church in any age can have a mixture of the sins that plagued these 5 churches…or can persevere and be commended, as were the churches at Smyrna & Philadelphia.
Angel (v. 1) The elder or pastor from the church
Ephesus (v. 1) This was an inland city 3 miles from the sea, but the brad moth of the Cayster River allowed access and provided the greatest harbor in Asia Minor. 4 Great trade roads went through Ephesus; Therefore, it became know as the gateway to Asia. It was the center of Artemis (Greek), or Diana (Roman) whose temple was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Paul ministered there for 3 years (Acts 20: 31 and later met with the Ephesians elders on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 20). Timothy, Tychicus and the apostle John all served this church. John was in Ephesus when he was arrested by Domitian and exiled 50 miles southwest to Patmos.
Who say they are apostles (v. 2) The Ephesians church exercised spiritual discernment. It knew how to evaluate men who claimed spiritual leadership judging them by their doctrine and behavior.
Not become weary (vs. 3) For over 40 years, since it’s founding, this church had remained faithful to the Word and the Lord. Through difficulty and persecution, the members had endured, always driven by the right motive, that is, Christ name & reputation.
Left your first love (v. 4) To be a Christian is to love the Lord Jesus Christ. But the Ephesians’ passion and fervor for Christ had become cold. Their doctrinal and moral purity, their undiminished zeal for the truth, and their disciplined service were no substitute for the love for Christ they had forsaken.
Remove your lampstand (v. 5) God’s judgment would bring and end to the Ephesians’ Church
What commendations did Christ have for the church at Ephesus? What was their Sin?
What was the situation faced by the church at Smyrna? What was God’s promise? How do these facts square with the expectations of most Western Christians?
What was the great sin of the church of Pergamos?
What was Christ message for the church at Thyatira?