Detailed Description Of The Seven Churches, Revelation Chapter 2-3

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Church Age of the Seven Churches

Book of Revelation

Chapters 2-3: Message to the Church

When reading the messages to the Church, we must keep in mind that although each message was given to the seven churches as originally addressed, the churches also represent a ‘Church Era’ in history.


The 1st Church:  the church of Ephesus

The Apostolic Church

30-100 AD

60 miles NE of isle of Patmos

The Danger of Diminishing Love

They have lost their first love, Jesus.  The church is more appealing to the world than to God.


 The 2nd Church:  the church in Smyrna

The Persecuted Church

100-313 AD

35 miles north of Ephesus

The Danger of Fearing, Suffering

They are rich in service to Him; they are rich in knowledge of His Word.  They are strong, because they have been tried and they have not failed God.  This is the church we should all want to be like.


The 3rd Church:  church in Pergamos

The State Church

313-590 AD

60 miles north of Ephesus

The Danger of Doctrinal Compromise

We must not fellowship with those of unbelief.  We must witness to them, and then go home.  Fellow-shipping with the world brings compromise.  This church opened the door to spiritual destruction when they compromised with the world.  Not all were deceived, BUT they were quiet of indifference toward the sin within their church.


The 4th Church:  the church in Thyatira

The Papal Church

590-1517 AD

40 miles SE of Pergamos

The Danger of Moral Compromise

Prideful, worshiping idols (material possessions, selfish ambitions, etc.)


The 5th Church:  the church in Sardis

The Reformed Church

1577-1790 AD

35 miles SE of Thyatira

The Danger of Spiritual Death

This church had a good reputation, but in reality there was nothing but inward deadness, partially due to defilement.  This church is very social minded and helps local government with their projects.


The 6th Church:  the church in Philadelphia

The Missionary Church

1790-1900 AD

25 miles SE of Sardis

The Danger of Failing to Advance

They are very strong in their faith and spirit; they would be hard to deceive.  They are the very elect and are promised an ‘open door’.  They pattern their life after His.  God promises these believers that He will keep them from the hour of temptation which will come upon the whole world.


The 7th Church:  the church of the Laodiceans

The Apostate Church

1900 AD- present

45 miles SE from Philadelphia

The Danger of Luke Warmness

Boastful, yet spiritually poor.  They lost zeal in their church.  They were self-satisfied.  They went through the formality of church.  They have no physical needs because of wealth.  They are blind to the conditions of their church.

Each message can be applied to ourselves, individually, as well as the Church.  As we study the condition of each Church, we should ask ourselves which description describes the Church we attend, and what can we do to help correct the dangers that Jesus pointed out.  He wants us to know that He stands with us in church and despite persecution from outsiders, and corruption from within, we too can overcome these dangers through Him.

Written by Mary Hudak-Collins

Mary Hudak-Collins

13 thoughts on “Detailed Description Of The Seven Churches, Revelation Chapter 2-3

  1. Pingback: Study of Revelation, Chapter 1 - John's Vision

  2. Pingback: Study of Revelation, Chapter 2 - Message to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, and Thyatira Churches

  3. neicy

    thank you! I’ve been studying Revelations and taking notes, but this outline is great. Will share with my study partner. Excited about learning and sharing The Word of God.

    1. mhudakcollins Post author

      Thank you Neicy for visiting! Please feel free to use any information that you find on this site for your studies. We are all here to help one another and lift them up for the Glory of God! Be blessed ♥

  4. Lynn

    Thank you for a very brief description of each Church. This really helps as I study. However, as I studied the churches, I didn’t understand your rationale and was quite puzzled as you cited the Philadelphia church “The Danger of failing to advance”?? Jesus seems to praise them for their steadfastness. Although they had weak spots (as all the other churches did), he shows them an “open door” and promises them to be “a pillar”…… “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down from out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name” (Revelation 3:12).
    I’m not disputing you, I’m just seeking clarification. Agape

    1. mhudakcollins Post author

      Lynn, thank you for your visit. Yes, the church in Philadelphia was very strong in their faith and their spirit and Jesus cited no faults for this church. The ‘dangers’ are actually the area that the particular church risked falling into. This church was small in numbers (followers) and as we see in verse 3:8, Jesus opens a door for them that no can shut. One of the reasons that Jesus details is that they are of ‘little strength’. It is in our weakness, that Jesus is the strongest in our lives as believers. But, if we become comfortable in our small family of believers and fail to recognize this, then we are in danger of advancing in our purpose in life; in our purpose of the church. The ‘dangers’ are not necessarily stating that the churches were already in that condition, but that this is something that they need to be aware of and avoid.
      I thank you for asking for clarification…I write as I am led to interpret the scripture. The Bible is such a wonderful book that God has made available to all of us and we must all continue to read and study, asking God for wisdom and understanding of His Word. May He bless you in your reading/studying ♥♥♥

  5. dm

    Where on earth does it say in the bible that this should be applied to the church age? As with Darby’s dispensationalism and rapture theories, it is sheer speculation and simply not in the word of God! I urge anyone who reads this article, to get back to their bible and ask God to show them the truth. I do not mean to be hard, but say this out of love and concern. I was brought up believing this.

    1. mhudakcollins Post author

      Sir, or Madam, there are many mysteries of the Bible, but I do not believe this subject to be one of them. It is very clear to me, under deep and intense study, that we are living in the Church Age and have been for a very long time. The New Testament alone is addressed to believers….which we are the church. There will come a time when we will no longer be here and the Church Age will be completed. Surely, you can see in our generations, the array of the different churches that have been in existence and still remain.
      I understand that many believe that John Darby began theories on his own, but pre-dated sermons back to the date of the disciples show that the Rapture theory is not a new one, and I see this event within scripture in 1 Thess 4:17, Rev 3:10, Isaiah 26:20-21, Luke 17:34-37. I have always believed that in order to understand much of our Bible, we must also be aware of the Jewish Wedding, Holidays, and Feasts. If you are familiar with the Jewish events, then the events written about in the Bible begin to come to life on the pages of the Bible. With sincere prayer and study, God will reveal the truth to all of us when He believes we are ready to learn about what He wants to teach us. It will all be in His timing, not ours. May God bless you richly in your studies of His Mighty Word. Amen!

  6. Florin Mocanu

    May I ask who made this division of church history to fit with the seven churches in Revelation? How was this division made?
    All seven churches in Revelation were real churches at the time John wrote Revelation (about 95 AD). According to this articles’ reckoning, they all existed in the ‘Ephesus’ era – The Apostolic church. If it’s true about the Apostolic Church that they lost their first love (which by the way it’s not ‘lost’ but ‘left’ [KJV] or ‘forsaken’ [NIV]), then ALL SEVEN churches in Revelation 2 and 3 ‘lost’ their first love, since they all lived in the apostolic age. But this is nonsense and utterly false! For example the church in Thyatira is actually COMMENDED for their love (Rev. 2:19 – agapen in Greek).
    How about the other dates – who and how fixed them?
    Also, who (and how) decided that from the 1900s we live in the apostate church? Does it mean the article of this church comes from an apostate church? Does it mean that all the churches all over the globe are apostate? From the 1900s we’ve seen INCREDIBLE revivals in parts of the globe. Even today in parts of Africa, Asia and South America there are thousands of people who turn to Christ! It may as well be possible that today there are more born-again Christians alive than in any other century! Yes, there are certain Christians and certain Christian denominations that are apostate – but that has ALWAYS been the case!
    I would rather argue that AT PRESENT all over the globe there are churches that fit in each and every category listed in this article!
    Of course, I may be wrong and the person doing this division has very strong arguments and I’m looking forward to discovering those arguments.

    1. Mary Hudak-Collins Post author

      Thank you so much for your comment. First, please accept my apology. I see that your comment was written on May 13th, but it has just showed up in my comments today.

      Please note that at at the end of the post, I have written this: “Each message can be applied to ourselves, individually, as well as the Church. As we study the condition of each Church, we should ask ourselves which description describes the Church we attend, and what can we do to help correct the dangers that Jesus pointed out. He wants us to know that He stands with us in church and despite persecution from outsiders, and corruption from within, we too can overcome these dangers through Him.”

      I believe that each church did exist during the time of the letters, the same as they have throughout history. The breakdown of the churches dates is not showing when they were in existence, but rather when they took precedence. Yes, as I do agree with you on the incredible revivals all over the world, we are still living in an age that is full of sin and compromise, more so than any other time of the world. That doesn’t mean that souls will not be harvested. The Bible clearly tells us that the lost will come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and it also tells us that we will move into times of apostasy. There is no argument here that presently, there are churches throughout the world that fit into any one categorized church on the list, but I believe it is the compromised church that is on the rise.

  7. Catherine

    Great truth that are so compounding and eye opening to me as I reflects on churches and individual I know along the way of faith. But more so of people I loved and especially myself. I will continue to seek the truth that God is leading me to know ; live and share at His service . Halleluya! Amen !!

  8. Dennis

    So do you think that in 320 AD, pastors were preaching that “we’re in the Pergamos church age,” like they preach we are in the Laodicean church age now? Actually, there is no exegetical or hermaneutical reason to believe the letters to the 7 churches referred to “7 church ages” at all. This is just an imaginary construct.

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