The city of Philadelphia was 28 miles southeast of Sardis. It was located in an area noted for its agricultural products but afflicted with earthquakes which destroyed the city several times, most recently about a.d. 37. The city was named for a king of Pergamum, Attalus Philadelphus, who had built it. Christian testimony continues in the city in this day.
The important commercial city of Sardis was located about 30 miles southeast of Thyatira, on an important trade route that ran east and west through the kingdom of Lydia. Important industries included jewelry, dye, and textiles, which had made the city wealthy. From a religious standpoint it was a center of pagan worship and site of a temple of Artemis, which ruins still remain. Only a small village called Sart remains on the site of this onceimportant city. Archeologists have located the ruins of a Christian church building next to the temple.
The Church of Sardis is addressed in Revelation 3:1-6
Thyatira was about 40 miles southeast of Pergamum, and was a much smaller city. Thyatira was situated in an area noted for its abundant crops and the manufacture of purple dye. The church was small, but it was singled out for this penetrating letter of rebuke.
This church was doing some things really well, but the problem overshadowed any good they were doing.
Pergamum was 45 miles north of Smyrna and 20 miles inland. Incredibly wealthy and wicked, the city was a tough place for a church to grow.
Jesus called them loyal and promised them the manna that is hidden in heaven.
The church in the city of Smyrna was dirt poor and suffering tremendous persecution. Unlike Ephesus which seemed to enjoy great favor, they were under siege.
In the end, it's the church at Smyrna that rose above their trials and struggles and is praised by both Jesus and their longevity in the gospel.
The church at Ephesus was established on Paul's 3rd Missionary Journey (Acts 19)
The book of Revelation:
- Written to 7 churches
- Written in 95 A.D.
- 22 Chapters
- 7 churches, Spirits, lamp-stands, beatitudes, stars, torches, years, seals, bowls, trumpets…
- 2 witnesses
- 144,000 evangelists
- 1 Savior!
We have finished our study through the book Irresistable by Andy Stanley. What an interesting and thought provoking book! We have discussed at length where we find ourselves agreeing and disagreeing with the author.
"Participants in the new covenant are not required to obey most of the commandments found in the first half of their Bibles. Participants in the new covenant are expected to obey the single command Jesus issued as part of his new covenant. Namely: As I have loved you, so you must love one another."