Ephesus, The First Church

Works, Labor, and Patience “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks” (Revelation 2:1). by David Wittbrodt In the first three chapters of Revelation, the apostle John addresses seven churches in sequential order. Historically, each of these churches was a city in Asia Minor. If we were to visit these churches today, the ancient city of Ephesus would []

The Church of Smyrna

Period Two “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The words of the first and the last, whodied and came to life” (Revelation 2:8. Texts are from the Revised Standard Version). by Jeffrey Earl About 40 miles north of the ruins of Ephesus lies the modern city of Izmir on the Aegean coast in western Turkey. The city has an ancient history dating back to the initial settlement around the 11th century BC. It changed hands numerous times due []

Pergamos

Church Three “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write …” (Revelation 2:12 NASB). by Daniel Szarkowicz Interesting Facts About Pergamum When the Apostle John wrote his letter, Pergamum was very prosperous and one of the most influential cities in the Roman Empire. It was well known as a major center of culture and art. Today, impressive monuments echo the splendor of this city atop a windswept mountain along the Turkish coastline, looking boldly over the azure Aegean Sea. The []

The Trials of Thyatira

Church Four “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first” (Revelation 2:19). by David Rice Thyatira was a bleak period of church history, from 1157 to 1517. It was not bleak in warm Christian discipleship but bleak with burdens and trials of faith upon the followers of Jesus. This was the period of greatest dominance by the papacy, represented by Jezebel, the wicked queen who []

News and Views

Religious A recent Gallup poll showed, for the first time, the majority of Americans are not members of a house of worship. Thirty-five percent of Gen Z students are atheists, agnostic, or have no religious belief. — Religion News Service, 6/3/2021 (Editor’s note: Members of Gen Z are those born between 1997 and 2015. This puts the age group for Gen Z in the range of 6-24 years old in 2021) Increasing numbers of African American mosques are closing, while the overall []