The Post Road
Though there were three other cities nearby to whom Paul had written epistles (Thessalonica, Philippi and Colosse), they were not included because they were not on a Post Road beginning in Ephesus.
As a result, they could not give us a timed picture of conditions in
the Church during the Christian era.
The Post Road began in Ephesus and continued on to the
various cities in the order given in Revelation 2-3.
From “Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to
Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
And that exactly matches the spiritual condition of
Church during the Christian era.
32-95AD Ephesus..........“Lost your first love...”
Rev 2:4, Heresy enters church: Marcionites, Gnostics,
Nicolaitans, Balaamites, etc.
95-321AD Smyrna...........“Persecuted 10 days...” Rev 2:10
Ten major persecutions under ten Roman Emperors:
(1) Domitian (2) Trajan (3) Hadrian (4) Antonius
Pius (5) Marcus Arelius (6) Septimus Severus (7)
Maximin (8) Decius (9) Valerian (10)Diocletian
321-450AD Pergamum......“Where Satan's throne is...” Rev 2:13
Constantine makes Christianity state religion. Church hierarchy begins.
450-950AD Thyatira.........“That Woman Jezebel...” Rev 2:20
Beginning of Mary worship. Idols brought into the churches.
Bishops rise to power.
950-1450AD Sardis............“But you are dead...” Rev 3:1
Dead Catholic formalism. Bible taken from the people.
Persecution of the brethren intensifies.
1450-1948AD Philadelphia...“You have kept My Word...” Rev 3:8
The Reformation, Protestant churches rise, the Puritan movement,
foreign missions founded.
1948AD-???? Laodicea........ “You are neither hot nor cold...” Rev 3:15
Lukewarm church of today. Great “so-called works,”
but spiritually cool.