Revelation 2:1-7 NIV
To the Church in Ephesus
1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of Him Who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.
3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for My Name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the Paradise of God.
Recipient of Words: Angel (Messenger, Pastor) of the Church in Ephesus
Praise:Perseverance and Endurance for Christ’s Name
Reproach:Forsaking First Love (Love for Christ)
Reward Promise: Tree of Life in Paradise
The seven churches described in Revelation 2-3 are seven literal churches at the time that John the apostle was writing Revelation.
Though they were literal churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and believers today.
The first purpose of the letters was to communicate with the literal churches and meet their needs at that time.
The second purpose is to reveal seven different types of individuals/churches throughout history and instruct them in God's truth.
A possible third purpose is to use the seven churches to foreshadow seven different periods in the history of the Church.
The problem with this view is that each of the seven churches describes issues that could fit the Church in any time in its history. So, although there may be some truth to the seven churches representing seven eras, there is far too much speculation in this regard.
Our focus should be on what message God is giving us through the seven churches.