The seven churches are described in Revelation 2-3 are the literal churches that existed when John was writing the book. Although they are old churches, they have a considerable influence towards present-day churches and believers. The letter was written to communicate with the churches and to meet their needs at the time. Similarly, it can also be argued that the purpose of the book is to reveal the seven different types of churches and provide the necessary instructions to them in regards to the truth about God.
The first church is Ephesus, and the message given to them was not from John but from Jesus. Jesus affirms the positive actions of the Ephesians by saying, “I know your deeds, hard work, and your perseverance.” Jesus proceeds to commend them for not tolerating the wicked men and by testing those who claim to be apostles, and they are not apostles. The church had gone through hardships because of his name and had not withered at all. However, Jesus noted one shortcoming that they had forsaken their first love by not having the same passion that they had when they first believed ( Molina, 2014) . They were called upon to repent if for them to have a chance to eat from the tree of life. This is still symbolic today as people can fall prey to having a shallow observance of religion by only focusing on hard work and doctrinal purity and not to the true love of Christ. The church is requested to love Jesus.
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The message to the church came from Jesus himself as John says, “These are the words of him who is the first and the last, who died and came to life again.” Christ acknowledges their affiliations and poverty and the work they have done towards those who claim to be the children of God and are not ( Molina, 2014) . However, they are warned that they are about to suffer while some of them were being thrown in prison to be tested with tribulations coming after ten days. Their promise is that they would be given the crown of life if they remained faithful unto death. The implication of this message today is that Christians ought to fight the urge to reject faith and ensure that they remain faithful to Christ.
The name Pergamum means height, power, and elevation by marriage and it occurred at a time when there were the state religion and many compromises. The church was commended for holding firm to Jesus name and not denying his faith ( Newell, 2016) . However, the church was rebuked for tolerating Nicolaitanes and other teachings that were wrong while also practicing idolatry and other immoralities. Jesus called upon them to repent to receive the hidden manna and new name. Today, the church is called upon to avoid accepting any form of compromise in regards to faith and the church must disallow the false doctrines in the churches.
Jesus message to the church in Thyatira was that he knows their deeds, the love they had and the faith as well as the service they had to God. However, they are rebuked for tolerating Jezebel, a false prophetess, and engaging in immorality ( Key, 2016) . They were told that they would suffer if they did not repent. They are told to hold on what they have until God comes. The significance of this church was that many false teachings had entered the Christian church and it is upon one to decide if he or she will follow the true teaching of Jesus or to continue following the false prophets.
Jesus commended the Sardis by saying that he knows their works and that they still had a few names in Sardis who had remained true to the faith and were ready to walk with him. However, Jesus rebuked them for having the reputation of being alive, and now they were dead. Jesus’ argument was that their work was not desirable in the eyes of God and they had to repent ( Key, 2016) . The promise was that Jesus would write their name in the book of life and would acknowledge his name before the Father and the angels. The church is still relevant today as it was at the time. The message is that God does not accept nominal Christians. The Christians claim to follow Christ, yet they deny his teachings and those of the apostles.
The name means brotherly love and the church was in place at the time when there was the revival of the gospel and its spread. The church was commended for keeping the word and not denying Jesus. Jesus said that he would make those who lie to follow him the synagogue of Satan ( Key, 2016) . The church was called upon to hold fast what you have so that no one may take your crown. The promise was that those who overcome would be given a place in the temple of God. The significance of the church today is that Christians should hold strong to their faith and should reject any attempt to abandon God.
The name means judging the people of just people. The period is that representing the modern church that does not have any commendation whatsoever from Jesus. The church is rebuked for being lukewarm and being spiritually poor, blind and naked. They are advised to secure gold that has been tried in the fire, repent and salve to open their eyes. Those who overcome the pressures will have the chance of eating with Jesus and sitting with him on his throne. The message and the relevance today is that despite the many things that are found in the world such as wealth, we still need God and we must follow him to see the kingdom of God.
Key, T. L. (2016). Preaching the Seven Churches of Revelation 2-3.
Molina, C. G. (2014). Domitian Apotheosis Discussion: A Historicist Johannine Response through the Introductory Salutations of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Revista Hermenêutica , 13 (1).
Newell, W. R. (2016). The Book of the Revelation . Ravenio Books.