Ephesus Pop. 250,000 Asia Minor’s most important seaport Three trade routes converged “Supreme Metropolis of Asia” A free city
Ephesus - A Privileged Church Paul spent over three years in Ephesus From Ephesus, the gospel was spread throughout all Asia Minor Paul warned the Ephesian elders Timothy was left there John lived there
Identification He who holds the seven stars in His right hand Who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands Stresses the Lord’s firsthand knowledge, awareness and concern for the church.
Commendation They Worked and Labored They Could Not Bear Evil Men They Hated the Deeds of the Nicolatians They Persevered in the Work and Had Not Grown Weary
Complaint “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
Counsel Remember Repent Do the First Works Warning “I will come quickly and remove your lampstand”
Promise To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God
Ephesus They were faithful - but lacking Their outward works were not complimented by an inward love for Christ It is good that a church is known for their faithfulness, but they also need to be known for their love Have I left my first love?
Smyrna Pop. 100,000 35 miles N. of Ephesus Smyrna and Ephesus were called the “Eyes of Asia” Prosperous city with magnificent harbor Nothing known about the establishment of the church
Emperor Worship In Smyrna First city in Asia to erect a temple to goddess of Rome (195 BC). 26 AD, city authorized to build temple to Tiberius Caesar, making it a center for emperor worship. During reign of Domitian (81-96 AD), emperor worship became compulsory. Smyrna was noted for its persecution and martyrdom of Christians.
Identification the First and the Last who was dead, and came to life Jesus is greater than anything they will suffer.
Commendation I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich) the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan
Counsel Do Not Fear the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days
Promise Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death
Lessons From Smyrna We must not be discouraged by tribulation and persecution. “Do not fear” (2 Tim. 1:7). One may be poor by worldly standards, but rich in the eyes of the Lord. We can experience death once or twice. The choice is ours.