Specific Messages to 7 Churches of Revelation
Some of these seven churches kept closer to the gospel than others. Jesus gave each one a short "report card."
Ephesus had "abandoned the love it had at first," (Revelation 2:4, ESV). They lost their love for Christ, which in turn affected the love they had for others.
Smyrna was warned it was about to face persecution. Jesus encouraged them to be faithful unto death and he would give them the crown of life—eternal life.
Pergamum was told to repent. It had fallen prey to a cult called the Nicolaitans, heretics who taught that since their bodies were evil, only what they did with their spirit counted. This led to sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols. Jesus said those who conquered such temptations would receive "hidden manna" and a "white stone," symbols of special blessings.
Thyatira had a false prophetess who was leading people astray. Jesus promised to give himself (the morning star) to those who resisted her evil ways.
Sardis had the reputation of being dead, or asleep. Jesus told them to wake up and repent. Those who did would receive white garments, have their name listed in the book of life, and would be proclaimed before God the Father.
Philadelphia endured patiently. Jesus pledged to stand with them in future trials, granting special honors in heaven, the New Jerusalem.
Laodicea had lukewarm faith. Its members had grown complacent because of the riches of the city. To those who returned to their former zeal, Jesus vowed to share his ruling authority.