Summary: The messages to the seven churches are vital to the survival of the church in any part of the world at any time in history. The lights of the church go out all through history and produce dark ages when Jesus is not heard and heeded.
If someone asks you, "What is the modern name of the country where Paul was born?" Would you
If someone asked you, "What is the modern name of the country where Christians were first
called Christians?" Would you know?
If someone asked you, "What is the modern name of the country where Noah's Ark landed and
the new world began?" Would you know?
If someone asked you, "What is the modern name of the country which became the center of
Christianity after the fall of Jerusalem, and which became the center of world power and spread of
Christianity for 16 centuries?" Would you know?
The answer to all of these questions is the same: It is the land of Turkey. I must confess I had no
idea that Turkey was a major Bible country, but the fact is, it is. All 7 of the churches Jesus sent
letters to in this book of Revelation were in Asia Minor, which today is Turkey. The Hittites of the
Old Testament developed this land. Abraham came here on the way to the Holy Land. It was
famous in Greek history as the land where they deceived the city of Troy into taking their wooden
horse in which were hidden some of their soldiers. They took this famous city, and the story is
recorded in Homer's famous Iliad.
Turkey is the bridge between Europe and Asia, and it is famous for more than most of us realize.
This is where Florence Nightingale paved the way for modern nursing. This is where Hippocrates
the father of modern medicine came to work centuries before. Dr. Luke got his training here, and
Paul spent most of his life here, and a great deal of his ministry was in this area. John the Apostle
served the churches here, as did Timothy. Mary the mother of Jesus lived her last days and was
buried here. When Constantine the Roman Emperor became a Christian he transferred the capital of
the Empire from Rome to Constantinople in what is now Turkey. For 7 centuries, which is three
times as long as the United States has existed, this was the center of world and Christian power.
The first ecumenical council where Christian leaders from all over the world met was in Nicaea
in 325 A.D. There they established basic Christian doctrine held by all Christians to this day. Not
only is a good portion of the New Testament written to churches in what is now Turkey, but out of
that area has come the theological foundation for all the creeds of Christiandom. Everyone of us has
been greatly influenced by what happened in the land of Turkey. The reason I share this is two fold.
First, because most Christians never think of it or hear of it. It is lost knowledge because we don't
know history. Second, it becomes a startling piece of evidence as to the consequences of not
listening to Jesus when he speaks to the church. Jesus warned these churches that if they did not
listen they would be removed, and would no longer be lights in the world, and that is exactly what
This center of the Christian faith was destroyed, and today it is 98% Moslem, and the Christian
church has very little influence. The churches and even the cities are nothing but rubble and
wasteland because the church stopped listening to her Lord, and went her own way just like the
people of Israel did, and the glory of the Lord departed as it did from the temple of Israel.
The messages to the seven churches are vital to the survival of the church in any part of the world
at any time in history. The lights of the church go out all through history and produce dark ages
when Jesus is not heard and heeded. This background should make us realize how seriously we
need to give heed to these letters of our Lord to the church. Most all of the churches of Turkey have
been turned into Mosques or museums because they had ceased to listen. History teaches us that
Jesus says what He means and He means what He says. We want to look at what He says to the first
church-the church of Ephesus. This letter is really second Ephesus, for Paul wrote one of his most
impressive letters to this church several decades earlier. It was a great church in a great city.
In the original list of the seven wonders of the world which goes back to the second century B.C.
The second one on the list was the temple of Diana in Ephesus. Pliny the Roman Historian called it,
"The most wonderful monument of Grecian magnificence.." It took a 120 years to build it. It was
425 feet in length and 225 feet wide with 127 60 foot columns, each given by a different king so