What are the seven churches in the book of Revelation (in a nutshell)?
Church of Ephesus (Rev. 2.1-7) – He who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. This church is commended for doctrinal vigilance and endurance. The rebuke is loss of first love and the solution is to remember, repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, Jesus Christ will come and remove their lampstand. For those who conqueror, they will be given the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Church of Smyrna (Rev. 2.8-11) – He the first and the last, who died and came to life. You have experienced tribulation and poverty, yet you are spiritually rich. The devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you will be tested and will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life. You will not be hurt by the second death.
Church of Pergamum (Rev. 2.12-17) – He who has the sharp two-edged sword. This church is commended for holding fast to Christ’s name and not denying their faith. However, they are rebuked for the teachings of Balaam, which is false teaching. They must repent or else Christ will wage war against them with the sword of His mouth. To those who conquer, they will be given some of the hidden manna, and a white stone with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.
Church of Thyatira (Rev. 2.18-29) – Jesus Christ is described as having eyes like a flame of fire, and feet that are like burnished bronze. Jesus Christ knows your works, faith, love, service, and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed your first. However, you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess who is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. She refuses to repent and will be thrown onto a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her will be thrown into great tribulation unless they repent; and her children will be struck dead. According to the English Standard Version:
But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. (Rev. 2.24-27)
Church of Sardis (Rev. 3.1-6) – He who has the seven spirits of God as well as the seven stars. This church is commended for remaining pure and loyal but is dead even though they have a reputation of being alive. To those who keep the Word and repent, they will be clothed in white garments and their name will never be blotted out of the book of life, and Jesus will confess his name before his Father and before his angels. If not, Jesus will come like a thief against them.
Church of Philadelphia (Rev. 3.7-13) – This church is the holy one, the true one who has the keys of David. They are commended for patiently enduring and not denying God’s name but instead keeping God’s word. Those who belong to this church have little power yet God has provided an open door which no one is able to shut. Furthermore, those of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews but are not, but lie, will come and bow down before their feet and learn that Jesus loves them. They should hold fast to what they have so no one seizes their crown. For those who conquer, they will be made a pillar in the temple of God, inscribed with the names of God, the new Jerusalem, and Christ.
Church of Laodicea (Rev. 3.14-22) – This church is neither hot nor cold and because they are lukewarm, Christ is going to spit them out of his mouth. They claim to be rich and have prospered, yet they are poor and blind. God says to them to buy gold refined by fire so that they may be rich, and white garments to clothe their nakedness. Those who conquer will dine with Christ and will be granted to sit with Christ on his throne. Laodicea is the only church of the seven that doesn’t receive any positive remarks.