The Revelation of Jesus Revelation 2:1-7 The Loveless Church: Ephesus 7 Churches Geographic representatives Same types – doctrinally and politically Not meant to represent a chronological church history Parallel but not intentional More of a complete picture of the spiritual condition of John’s day and throughout history The Letters All the same style Commission – greeting Character of Christ Commendation – good job (Except Sardis and Laodicea) Condemnation – bad job (Except Smyrna and Philadelphia) Correction – fix it Call – to recommit Compensation – promise The City of Ephesus One of the oldest, largest cities in Asia Eastern shoreline of Aegean Sea – major harbor 300,000 – 500,000 approx. population Known for opulence, a great library and wealth Politically free (self-governing) Roman Governor of that province lived there Leading commercial city – all trade routes converged there Idol worship – Diana – god of fertility – temple of prostitutes – Seven wonders of the world The Las Vegas of the Roman Empire Church founded by Paul – 3 years of work Timothy and John Priscilla and Aquila as well as Apollos Great persecution towards Paul Changed the spiritual climate Brought to view the sin of the city The church overcame massive distractions to come to the Lord Now is a Turkish village Revelation 2:1 Angel = messenger = pastor Jesus holds the seven stars (Pastors/messengers) Security of the faithful messengers Walks among the lampstands He resides with authority He gives vigilant supervision He is ever present Revelation 2:2-3 Great traits for a church to have Works Labor (dealing with annoyances) Patience No drama Tested those who claim apostleship Discerning false doctrine Persevered in patience Labored for Jesus Did not grow weary Paul was encouraged by their great works earlier (Eph.1:15) Revelation 2:4 But … you have left your first love Second generation of believers Great at doing but forgot how to BE Orthodoxy without love First love Love for Christ Fervency of new believers Basic priorities of church More about the doing than the being Mary and Martha – Luke 10:38-42 Obedience over Sacrifice – Psalm 51:16-17 Who left? You did God did not Cooling of the heart which had overtaken them in relationship to God was a dangerous forerunner of spiritual apathy which later was to erase all Christian testimony in this important center of Christian influence - John F. Walvoord Revelation 2:5 Repentance allows for a return Remember where you fell from and return to it Spiritual defection whether mind or heart, comes from forgetting that which was known Repent – change attitude and resume with fervent love First works In love to God In love to Others As you did in the beginning Do it or be removed as an influence Revealtion 2:6 Great job in hating enemies of truth Nicolaitans Nikao – to conquer Laos – the people Forerunners of clerical hierarchy imposed upon the laity robbing them of spiritual freedom (God-Man-man) Licentious sect advocating for complete freedom – heathen feast and free love Nicolaus One of the first deacons Left his Christian doctrine Lived in unrestrained indulgences Greek vision of the Hebrew word Balaam Both mean the same Same description of an evil teacher using influence over people to bind them in heresy Taught immorality and idolatry Revelation 2:7 Listen up – to the overcomers Special class of believers Term for all Christians (I John 4:4, 5:4-5) ** Eat of the tree of life Adam and Eve – sealed without redemption Moved to the “Paradise of God” (Rev. 22:2) We all will eat of it 4 Takeaways Correct doctrine means one has love for God. Lack of love for the Lord is a lack of love to the brethren. Do not rest on past accomplishments. To correct a departure from God, we must sometimes go back to when and where the departure began. References Barnes, Albert. Barnes Notes – Revelation. Baker Books, 2001. Constable, Dr. Thomas L. Notes on Revelation. www.planobiblechapel.org/tcon/notes/html/nt/revelation.htm 2020. Hamrick, Gary. “Midweek Bible Study: Revelation 1:1-11 & 1:12-2:1”. Cornerstone Chapel Teaching Library. https://cornerstonechapel.net/?page_id=418&i=1484 The Book of Revelation with Pastor Gary Hamrick: Study Guide. Cornerstone Chapel (2020) Hindson, Edward. The Book of Revelation: Unlocking The Future. Scofield Ministries, 2002. Levy, David. Revelation Hearing the Last Word. The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., 1999. Renn, Stephen D. Expository Dictionary of Bible Words. Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2005. Toussaint, Dr. Stanley. Revelation: Week 3. Dallas Theological Seminary. https://youtu.be/jLgpYMHIMm8 Walvoord, John F. Revelation. Moody Publishers, 2011.