Revelation 2:1 “To the angel of the church…”
Angel means messenger. Angel of the church would be the pastor in this context. The letters are addressed to the pastors of each of the seven congregations.
2-3 “…have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary”
Have done everything right as you ought to do. Taken care of the letter of the law so to speak.
4 “…I have this against you, that you have left your first love”
Bad situation to have Christ say He has something against you. In this case, they had forgotten Him. Doing all the right stuff, but failing to have relationship with Him. Works should come out of our love for Him, not just going through the motions for wage or reward.
5 “…repent…or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand…”
A church without a true relationship with Christ is not a church. What’s the point. Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship.
7 “…To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life…”
I’ve seen phrases such as this one used to show no assurance of salvation. The idea being that only those who somehow overcome will eat from the tree of life. They miss the point and misinterpret the statement. The only way to overcome is to trust in Christ for salvation. Those who do so will overcome, no question about it. This is a statement of what will be done to those that cross the finish line because they have trusted in Christ.
10 “…Be faithful until death…”
Nothing is said about rescue from the persecution or tribulation, only reward for faithfulness. An eternal view, not a present one. Interesting how some churches face great tribulation and persecution while others suffer little to none. Wonder what that says about the hearts of the members or their effectiveness as Christians.
11 “…He who overcomes shall not be hurt…”
Another of those phrases.
12 “…He who has the sharp two-edged sword”
Christ by the word of His mouth. He cuts to the heart of the matter. Nothing escapes His sight.
14-15 “…the doctrine of Balaam…the doctrine of the Nicolaitans…”
Nicolaitans were mentioned in the first letter. Some think it is a sect of some sort teaching a false doctrine while others think it is symbolic, a reference to false teaching like that of Balaam. But now we have both mentioned as though there is something different in the two. I get the impression, with which commentaries agree, that it’s not a difference in the two, but the similarity. Some hold to the error of Balaam on their own, and thus the doctrine of the Nicolaitans was also allowed or tolerated. This would point to there being at least a sense of non-organized and organized belief. Shows the danger of allowing any false teaching to be tolerated. It opens the door for further error.
17 “…the hidden manna…a white stone…”
Commentary suggests a reference to that of the high priest who had access to manna in the inner sanctuary as well as the stone in the priestly garment with God’s name. Only the high priest had access. As believers in Christ we are given the same access to God directly as the high priest had.
20 “…because you allow…”
Another church allowing false teaching in the church. May not have been a deliberate thing, but a toleration for whatever reason. Either way, it has gotten in and is allowed to stay.
20 “…to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols”
Same problem with the others.
21 “…I gave her time to repent…”
Mercy of God. Even in the Old Testament God gave both Jews and Gentiles time to repent of their sins. He does not delight in the death of the wicked, is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
27 “He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels…”
Jesus will make all things right when He comes. He will reward those who have followed Him and destroy those who have not. We don’t have to worry about those who persecute us. They will be taken care of. Until then, we should pray for them and hope that they see their error and repent.
28 “…I will give him the morning star”
Will be like Christ who is the morning star. He is the first fruit. Someday we shall be like Him.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.