When one reads chapter two and three in the last book of the Bible (Revelation), many questions may arise as to why God choose the seven churches and in the order He addressed them through His servant John to write. Young Christians normally attempt to spiritualize the letters to the seven churches as they retrace History with total confusion. Many young and even mature Christians are unaware that the “seven churches” were literal historical churches in Asia.
The churches commanded for John to write to were actual well known churches in his day. Their unique selection show us as Believers many things. For starters, these churches represent types and conditions of all church generations to come. This fact can be supported based on several conditions. First, there were numerous churches in the area in which were not selected and written to. The fact the Spirit was speaking to these churches is another factor of the panoramic view that these “seven churches” shows us today of Church History and the existing periods. There is much debate over the theological importance’s of the “seven churches” but the fact remains, God divinely selected this seven distinctively over all of the vase churches in the area.
In this paper I plan to show the comparison of each church letter, of each church listed, to match into the church vision for which it was named. All throughout scripture names are of much importance. In Gods’ plan if one’s name no longer fit his journey, God renamed him as in Abram to Abraham. Abram means “exalted father” but Abraham means ” father of a multitude”. God knew Abraham would represent more than just *an* exalted father of history but that he would become *the* Father of History. The purpose of this illustration is to show what is in a name is of utmost importance when it comes to scripture. There are numerous accounts of where the people of the bible’s names were and what their names meant, and they always fit their namesake verses God would command them to change it to fit the Plan and purpose of Gods’ calling.
For starters the first addressed letter is to the Church of Esphesus. The word Esphesus means First Love the Early Church. The Esphesus Church Represents the time period from Pentecost to about 100 AD. This was the major developing period of Church History in which we have come to know today.
Before looking at the period in which it represents I feel first one should look at the Church itself. Esphesus was the fourth largest city in the empire when Paul visited the city and taught the people of Christ. It was connected by highways to all the important trade routes. Even The Roman Governor resided in this city as it was ideally located for sea harbor. The city’s temple served Asia as a Bank. The wealth of this city showed in the attraction of tourist visiting the legendary temple. The problem however in this city was even though it met the needs in both profit and pride of the people, it failed in the deliverance of the deepest needs of the population. The city was filled with both sorcery and witchcraft. Paul journeyed and visited the city and taught the people the true meaning of the relationship and the church as an living organism. This was a major start and beginning of the Early Church looked at as a real and living Church Body. Their love grew for God as did the Church, while Institutional Religion became a great success in Esphesus
When looking into Early Church History the people were corrupt in their ways and thinking before the knowledge was given unto them in Esphesus. Once the church in this city began to grow it grew out of their love for Christ. They were faithful to the Lord and they no longer tolerated wickedness. Even when they underwent much hardship they did not grow weary. However a problem began to arise within this church, they began setting up the church and the *instintutionalism* as they felt the need for in order to keep faith and serve God. The institutionalism over time became the importance of their hearts rather then the love of God. This church was doing everything right, everything they possibly could to make sure the Church remained faithful and that wickedness was not tolerated, with one exception. The people forgot was one once in their hearts and why they were keeping the *rules* and their faith. The church was religious but it lacked in spiritualism. They forgot their first love.
When a person first excepts Christ as their Savior, they become very excited and want to share the bubbles of love with the world. As time moves on in many peoples hearts they sometimes move into the institutional category and forget their first love, Christ. The early church not only represent the early history of the Church but also the early life of a New Christian.
John’s second letter to the Church of Smyrna represents the persecution Christians undergo. The name Smyrna means myrrh. The people of Smyrna were humble and quite poor. This was not an area of wealth as in the Esphesus Church. Even though Smyrna was a large and important port city the people living within it was heavily taxed by the Roman Government. The new believers underwent during it’s early stage of Christian growth much persecution and suffered many trails, yet they never lost their faith in the promise given to them from the Lord. There were satanic attacks on the people and yet they never gave up on the Lord and always shined forward in their hopes.