(1-7) To the Church in Ephesus
Christ told John specific messages to write to seven churches in Asia. He could trust that John would write exactly what he was told, nothing more and nothing less. This is how we can know for certain that when we read the Bible we are reading the Holy Word of God because it was written by men who were moved by the Holy Ghost. They put God’s thoughts and words down on paper and not their own.
The church in Ephesus was commended for their work and patient endurance and how they could not stand those who were evil. They did not foolishly follow false teachers, but first tested those who claimed to be of God and found them to be false. However, the church is rebuked for abandoning their first love. Instead of working and patiently enduring because they love Jesus the Christ, they work and patiently endure out of a sense of duty to Him. God wants the church to repent and love Him again with their whole hearts.
(8-11) To the Church in Smyrna
Christ knows that the church in Smyrna has undergone much tribulation. Materially speaking, they are poor, but He wants them to know that they are rich in Him. Christ knows that the church is about to go through even more tribulation, and He encourages them not to fear. They are to remain faithful, even unto death, so that Christ can give them the crown of life. The who conquer in this world by believing in Christ and remaining faithful to Him, will not be crushed by the second death – that is, eternal punishment which comes after the first and natural death.
(12-17) To the Church in Pergamum
It appears that the church in Pergamum existed in a place that was rife with Satanic influence; however, they are commended for remaining faithful to the name of Jesus and not denying the Christian faith, even in days of persecution when one believer was killed. But the church of Pergamum is also rebuked because some there followed the teaching of Balaam and others followed the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Neither Balaam nor the Nicolaitans pleased God. The church is urged to repent before Christ has to make war against them.
(18-29) To the Church in Thyatira
The church in Thyatira is praised for their love, faith, service and patient endurance. However, they are also rebuked because some of them learned the deep things of Satan and were engaged in sexual immorality and other sin. They are urged to repent so they will not be judged by God. Those who have not learned the things of Satan, are encouraged to hold fast to Christ and their faith until Christ comes.
Favorite verse: (18) “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.