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Revelation 2:1-11

Talks for Growing Christians

The Message to the Church of Ephesus and Smyrna

Revelation 2:1-11

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Lesson Number 2

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Church of Ephesus represents the church that has left its first love.
  2. The Church of Smyrna represents the persecuted church.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s be overcomers!

Questions

  1. Review the vision John saw in Revelation 1.
  2. Review three ways in which these messages to the seven churches can be applied.
  3. Which New Testament characters ministered at the Church of Ephesus?
  4. What is unique about the Church and city of Smyrna?
  5. Which famous early Christian was martyred at Smyrna?

Answers

  1. John saw the Lord standing in the midst of seven golden lampstands, which represented seven first century churches. The awesome appearance of the Lord conveys His total authority and shows that He will judge everyone on the basis of His word.
  2. First, they describe the conditions that literally existed in those seven first century churches. So they had application to those churches. Secondly, the messages can be applied to any church at any time. There is challenge, exhortation, comfort, and encouragement which certainly apply to us today. A third option is that the messages to the seven churches each represent a stage in Church history.
  3. The Apostle Paul spent two-and-a-half years there during his third missionary journey. Timothy was shepherding this church when Paul wrote 1 Timothy. The Apostle John was at this church before his exile to the island of Patmos.
  4. Smyrna is the only one of the seven churches where a continuous Christian testimony has been maintained since the first century. Smyrna is the modern city of Ismir, Turkey, today.
  5. Polycarp

Discuss/Consider

  1. How can you recognize false teaching in your church? What is the best defense against “leaving your first love” as the Church of Ephesus did?
  2. Have you ever endured persecution for your faith? Many Christians around the world are facing persecution. What encouragement could they gain from the message to the church of Smyrna?

Challenge

  1. How is your love for the Lord? Is it as strong as when you were first saved? Be challenged by the message to the Ephesians. Rekindle your first love.

Key Verses

  • “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works.” Revelation 2:4-5
  • “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:7, 11

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