THE MASTER’S VESSEL MINISTRIES, HOUSTON, TEXAS
Preacher: Pastor Uche Emenike
Topic: The Messages to the churches
Text: Revelations 1:9-11; 2:1-7
Letter to Ephesus
- Ephesus is the only one of the seven churches mentioned in the book of Acts 19. It was planted by Paul, and later nurtured by Timothy.
- Note the explanation of 2:1 in 1:20 – Jesus holds the leaders of His churches in His right hand which signifies a place of sovereign protection and divine authority over them, and also to every believer (Jn. 10:28-29). He is also in the midst of His church everywhere – Matt. 18:20.
- In v.2-3, the church is commended for her faithful service to the Lord and her patience in doing so. They also abhorred evil and were able to detect false teachers by their deep roots in Christian doctrine. They also served, not for what they will get in return, but for their love of the Lord. The Lord observes the work and labor of every Christian for Him and keeps record of it. He sees your intercessions, service, evangelism, giving, and sacrifice. Do not give up on them. For those that are unwilling to be engaged in the Lord’s work, He is also watching.
- In v. 4, they are condemned for abandoning their first love. Their love for God no longer had the intensity that it once had. Their passion for Christ had diminished. See their earlier testimony in Eph. 1:15-16. A new generation of believers had arisen. This was dangerous because every lack of love for Christ will be replaced by a love for the world eventually leading to compromise, loss of testimony, and eventual backsliding. Have you lost your zeal for God, His word, prayer, fellowship, service? The lesson here is that past glory is not an excuse to be complacent in the present.
- In v.5, they are asked to retrace their steps to correct this problem. Remember, repent, and do again the first works. Every coldness of spirit had an origin. It could be the neglect of the quiet time, prayer, fellowship with the brethren, going to places you should not be going to, or starting an ungodly relationship. Repent of them, and when you do, the outgrowth will be works that the Lord desires. Without repentance, the Lord could make your testimony no longer effective. This happened to the Ephesian church because centuries later, the Lord removed the church as a testimony for Christ. Look around you, there are churches failing, not because they are meant to fail but because they failed to rise up from where they have fallen, and God took their lampstand from its place so that they do not do more damage to the testimony of Christ. Lot was another person who lost his testimony amongst his in-laws – Gen. 19:12-14.
- In v.6, they are commended again for their hatred of the deeds of the Nicolaitans. These were people who, although claimed to be Christians, lived licentious lives. They became “born-again” before repenting and now advocates for living lives free of Christian conduct. They forgot about II Cor. 5:17.
- In v.7, the invitation is given to hear what the Spirit is saying, and a promise is given to every overcomer. The overcoming Christian life is the norm for every believer – I Jn. 5:5. The promise to eat of the tree of life from the Paradise of God is given. Remember that this tree of life is first mentioned in connection with the Garden of Eden in Gen. 3:22. The tree is now found in the midst of the street of the New Jerusalem – Rev. 22:2. Every overcomer will live an abundant life with Christ in the eternity to come. This promise is meant to restore us from our backslidings and love Christ again as of the first time.