If you missed the first post in this series, you might want to go back and read it first. Click here.
As Chapter 2 begins, John is writing letters to the churches, as Jesus instructs him what to write. What does Jesus think of each of the churches? The churches he writes to are only 7, but they represent all churches, then and now. Some believe that these churches also represent the eras in church history. John is writing during 95 AD, 5 years before his death, and while he is in exile on the Island of Patmos.
2:1-7 To the church of Ephesus|The Church of Perseverance
Jesus begins the letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus by building them up. He’s letting them know that he sees the good they are doing: their deeds, hard work, and perseverance. They’ve endured the false prophets by testing them, endured hardships and have not given up. This has been done for Jesus.
But he does have criticism for them. In all their hard work and sound doctrine, they have forgotten love. He tells them to repent and do what they did at first or he will take their lampstand away. Return to love by coming back to Jesus. This represents the church era of the beginning of the century to about 100 AD.
Is this what happens when we become so worried about the law that we forget about compassion? Does it ring a bell to your church? If so, hear the Words of Jesus!
2:8-11 The the church of Smyrna|The Persecuted Church
Jesus tells this church that he knows the persecution they are going through. They shouldn’t be afraid. He warns them that they will be tested, but to be faithful even to the point of death and they will be given the “crown of life”. This church has suffered much and Jesus sees all that they have endured and encourages them to remain faithful. When the church is crushed, something wonderful happens. The church is purified and unified. (The author of this study characterized this to the spice, myrrh. When the spice is dried and crushed, it gives off a pleasant scent.)
At the end of each letter, Jesus reminds the churches to hear what the spirit has to say. And those who overcome will receive a reward.
Keep in mind that this is what I have taken from my studies. You may see things differently, and I respect that. But, remember to always go back to the Word of God for confirmation from anything that you are told comes from God. That’s how we can test whether it’s true or not.
Blessings on you as you study the book of Revelation.