In Chapter Two of the Book of Revelation Jesus address three of “the seven churches” of Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, and Thyatira. These were actual churches in the first century and John seems to have had a relationship with them. They were each contending with a problem which we also find in the contemporary church. Ephesus was the doctrinally pure church who moved away from their love for God and each other. Granted they were “right” about the truth but wrong about the heart of the matter. Jesus’ word to them is a stern warning. Today we see many “high tension” churches that draw firm boundaries around the truth, as they understand it. At the same time they are loveless toward others. Can they really love God (1 John 4.7)? This type of church is easy to caricature and that faulty picture defines Christianity to the outside world. Smyrna was the small church facing persecution. Its problem came from Jews who exposed them to the authorities as people who refused to worship the emperor. The Jews themselves were legally free from having to worship the emperor. They saw it as idolatry as did the Christians. As long as the Romans perceived the Christians to be basically Jews it was no problem. But it seems that the Jews in Smyrna made it a point to tell the Romans that the Christians were not Jews and that they refused to offer a sacrifice to the Emperor. Consequently, Jesus tells them, they can look forward to a season of imprisonment and martyrdom. Jesus’ message to them is comforting. We see this type of church, the persecuted church, throughout church history and in many places today. The third church addressed in this chapter is the church of Pergamum. This church had a problem opposite to that of Ephesus. Here prophets were encouraging people to embrace the culture, and likely, pagan worship (including immorality) with it. Pergamum did stand strong in the face of persecution but lacked the necessary regard for the truth. Jesus’ message to them is a warning that he will judge them according to the sword in his mouth, the Word of God, unless they repent. And we see many churches of this type in the world today as well.