Last week we were looking at Revelations 3: 14-21 and the harsh words Christ had for the church in Laodicea. In Revelations chapters 2 and 3 we have the account of all seven churches in John’s vision. I encourage you to read these messages to each church after reading this weeks blog. Here is a quick look at those churches.
There is much to share about the city of Ephesus which is located in modern day Turkey. Rome made it a provincial capital and at one time it boasted over 200,000 residents. It was the third largest city in the Roman Empire. Three things about Ephesus, it had size, wealth and power. Among this mix the city was known for trade and idol worship. Located there was what some referred to as the seventh wonder of the ancient world…the temple of Artemis. Ephesus had much to offer and was a major cultural center in the ancient world. Paul visited Ephesus on his second missionary journey. (Acts 18:19) On his third missionary journey he again came to Ephesus, this time staying three years. The time spent there was longer than any other of his church plants. It came to a sudden end when the silversmiths of that city came against him. Seems his presence, preaching and teaching were hurting their sales of trinkets made to sell in honor of the goddess Diana. (Acts 19: 26-41) There is much more but this is a brief summary of the church in Ephesus.
As one of the principal cities of Roman Asia, Smyrna vied with Ephesus and Pergamum for the title “First City of Asia.” A Christian church and a bishopric existed here from a very early time, probably originating in the considerable Jewish colony there. Was one of the seven churches addressed in the Book of Revelation.
Note: When I quote an article or Blog directly I will always place that quote in Italics and include the web address. I encourage the readers of my blog to go to that address at some time and read that authors comments.
According to others research this church in Smyrna was founded by Paul during his time in Ephesus. (Acts 19:10) There are some other interesting facts in that article you might want to read about. The church at Smyrna was under some heavy persecution and tribulations and could be found everywhere. But they remained strong in their faith and the message Jesus gave them was to encourage them to continue to stand strong and pray to God that they may continue to endure, whatever the cost.
The Church here had an interesting profile. Pergamum served as the capital of the Roman Province of Asia Minor for over 25 years. The City had the distinction of being the center for a number of pagan cults.There was during that period of time the rise of Caesar worship, the City built a temple there and it became the capital of the Caesar worship cult. The commitment of the City to cults and idol worship was greater than all other Asian cities and places.We know very little about the founding of this church other than some believe it was Paul who planted it during his ministry at Ephesus. (Acts 19: 10) It was at this time that the gospel was being preached throughout Asia.
The church at Pergamum was awash in sinned the godliness which sadly should remind us of the world we are living in this day.
Thyatira was 45 miles southeast of Pergamum and was famous for its textiles, production of purple dye and its trade guilds. Though it was the smallest of the seven cities it received the longest of the letters.The story here is about as simple as you can get. This church was doing well and was an asset to the city and its people. But there was one among them who made false claims about her personage and sought to influence the church to join the powerful trade unions. Joining such unions required participation in the guild feasts that included immoral acts and the worship of idols. God sends a message to those who would disregard and distort His word. Stand Firm in Your Faith.
The greatness of Sardis lay in its past. Much had been written about its past wealth and splendor. It was also known for it geographical position. It sat on a mountain which boasted steep cliffs which would be impossible to scale and there was only one narrow way of approach.This thought to be impregnable city would be attacked and defeated twice! They were an arrogant people given to carelessness. (Revelations 3: 2-3) The City was known for its woolen, textile and jewelry industry. Their sinfulness was great and there is no need for me at this time to give space to it. There were many good external works and activities, however the church was know as the sleeping church. (2Timothy 3: 5)
Not much to coverer but it is noted that was a small church with little influence. It had the saving graces of a church that was pure, holy and faithful to God’s Word. The members of this church had experienced personal victories over sin.
Last week we took a look at the church in Laodicea. So now we have completed the Road Trip…The Seven Churches of Asia.
Personal note to you who visit us in The Pew. I have been having a problem with vertigo and it has been a struggle to complete this work this week. Every week I end my blog the same way Life is Good… This week I add to it…
Life is Good…Because God Is Good.