The Seven Churches of Revelation in Turkey

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Revelation 1:11, NKJV

The apostle John wrote the book of Revelation while in exile on the rocky island of Patmos. He was told to write and send it to the seven churches, the revelation of Jesus. The messages to the seven churches are timeliness, applicable since the 1st century and to all generations of the church since.

Ephesus: The Loveless Church (Rev 2:1-7)

The first letter is written to the church of Ephesus. The city had one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the famous Celsus Library, the façade of which still stands today. The church receives perhaps one of the best commendations a church ever receives but they were rebuked for leaving their first love. Hard-working for God but the church had lost their love of Him and other people.

Ephesus (Selcuk)

Smyrna: The Persecuted Church (Rev 2:8-11)

Smyrna is the only one of the seven that still exists today as a major city. It was a beautiful city and frequently referred to as “the Ornament of Asia”. It was famed for its schools of medicine and science, fine library, and athletic contests. The letter has no censure for the church but commendation and encouragement for their faith.

Smyrna (Izmir)

Pergamos: The Compromising Church (Rev 2:12-17)

Due to its natural elevation, Pergamos was considered impregnable, with many kings depositing their treasures here for safekeeping. It was the seat of the Roman province’s supreme court. However, Pergamos was a centre of pagan worship. The church is commended for its faithfulness but rebuked for tolerating false teachings.

Pergamum (Bergama)

Thyatira: The Corrupt Church (Rev 2:18-29)

Thyatira was not a naturally strong city; it had been captured, rebuilt, and destroyed many times. In later years, the manufacturing industries came to prominence and were known for their trade guilds, a situation of work that made it very difficult to be a Christian. The message rebukes the church for tolerating a false prophetess who led many astray and urges the church to repent.

Thyatira (Akhisar)

Sardis: The Dead Church (Rev 3:1-6)

Sardis was founded in the 12th century and became the capital of the Lydian kingdom, one of the richest kingdoms of the ancient world. Carelessness, sleepiness, and overconfidence led the city to its destruction. Like the city, the church started with great promise but quickly faded. The letter urges the church to wake up and follow the way of the Lord.

Sardis

Philadelphia: The Faithful Church (Rev 3:7-13)

Philadelphia was known as Decapolis and sometimes called “Little Athens” due to the magnificence of its public buildings. The modern name of the city is Alasehir which means “city of God” or the “Red City”. The message to the church reveals perhaps the best condition of any of the churches. This small but exceptional group of believers remained faithful whilst many others did not.

Philadelphia (Alasehir)

Laodicea: The Lukewarm Church (Rev 3:14-22)

Laodicea was an incredibly wealthy and well-ordered city with proud, arrogant, and self-satisfied inhabitants. They were accustomed to leisure, pleasure, and entertainment. The letter gives the church no affirmation and calls it lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. Their level of self-awareness is non-existent, and they do not know that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.

Laodicea

Seven Churches of Revelations with Troy & Cappadocia Tour

The Seven Churches of Revelation are an important part of Christian history and offer valuable lessons for Christians today. From 16 Oct to 27 Oct 2023, we will rediscover the Seven Churches of Revelation in Turkey. For more information on the tour, please click here. Sign up today!

 

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