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The Seven Churches of Revelation: Part One {Ephesus}

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The Seven Churches of Revelation {Part One: Ephesus} | A Virtuous Woman #prophecy #revelation #biblestudy

The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as the Seven Churches of Asia,  are seven major churches of Early Christianity.

In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ instructed John to “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” Revelation 1:11

Each of these churches existed in Roman province of Asia at the time that John wrote the letters. However, these letters were not only written for each individual church, but they were written as letter to God’s people across the span of time. The messages found in these seven letters apply to Christians today as do all the other letters or books of the Bible. Furthermore, these seven letters have additional application to God’s church in seven different eras, beginning with apostolic days and ending with the return of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 tells us: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

I have a handy chart that you can print detailing the different aspects of The Seven Churches of Revelation.

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Ephesus: The Era of the Apostles

The Church of Ephesus correlates to the early Christian church spanning the years 31 A.D to approximately 100 A.D. The church grew with incredible speed during this time. Historian Gibbon said that there were up to six million Christians by the end of the first century.

In Colossians 1:5,6 Paul states that they had taken the gospel to the entire world:

“In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.”

They were on fire for Jesus! Can you imagine, the first apostles, going out and spreading the Good News and it caught like a wild fire. If they could do that… what can we do?

Anyway, back to Ephesus. This church had zeal, they had passion, they persevered. They didn’t tolerate wickedness.

“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” Revelation 2:2,3

Jesus also commended the church of Ephesus for hating the Nicolaitans, which Christ said he also hated.  {Revelation 2:6} The Nicolaitans were heretics who believed they could partake in sin because the law had be done away with.

Today, the doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made God’s law of no effect: that by “believing” we are released from the necessity of being doers of the Word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned in the book of Revelation. – Theopedia.com

Like the church of Ephesus, we need to stand up against the wide held belief by many Christians that God’s moral law, the Ten Commandments has been done away with and that we do not have to keep His commandments.

In this post modern day, it is more important than ever that we stand up for truth.

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Unfortunately, despite their zeal for spreading the Good News, they forgot their first love.

“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Revelation 2:4

Jesus called the church at Ephesus to repent of their fallen ways. Usually, when a person commits to Christ, they are so excited. They’re on fire! They want to share the Good News – what God has done in their life – with everyone they meet. But then as time goes on, maybe weeks, months, or years later, they forget “their first love” and grow complacent. We don’t want to be like that!

“Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Revelation 2:5

Have you forgotten your first love? Are you taking a stand against immorality? Are you living the gospel?

Tomorrow we will look at the second church: The Church of Smyrna. So be sure to stop by!

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Melissa, my husband and I are going through the book of Revelation as our bible study, it was such an encouragement to read your post today as we were discussing the exact same chapter. Thanks and God bless. Rachel

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