We are entering into a very cool and challenging section of the Book of Revelation, Jesus message to the church. The seven messages to the seven churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) have specific impact for the churches of that time and space. And yes, because the Book of Revelation is God’s Word to God’s people these messages also have impact for our church today.
Here is what lies ahead for us in the messages to each of the churches:
- Sept 29: Ephesus: Do not forsake your 1st love! (Love for one another)
- Oct 6: Smyrna: Be Faithful – find hope in the resurrection!
- Oct 13: Pergamum: NO COMPROMISE!
- Oct 20: Thyatira: A Deep Secret? Oh please…
- Oct 27: Sardis: Wake Up! The Comatose Congregation…
- Nov 3: Philadelphia: Little Strength? Hold On!
- Nov 10: Laodicea: Lukewarm? Time to choose – either Hot or Cold.
This Sunday we dive into the church of Ephesus. There is a whole book of the Bible written to the Ephesians by the Apostle Paul. Many years later, after Paul’s death, John may have taken on the mantle of becoming the ‘spiritual father’ of the Ephesian church. The message of Jesus in Revelation for John to communicate to the church in Ephesus is this: Remember and return to your first love! There is a strong message of needed repentance.
At first reading, it would seem that the message is about their returning to their first love, meaning, love for God. Yet, what is most likely being communicated is not love for God (as the first love), rather, love for one another. Something has been lost in their practice of loving one another well.
In context, it seems that their zeal for weeding out heresy has negatively affected their love for one another. This is a very real dilemma for the church of all ages. How do we maintain a strong commitment to Biblical truth and yet, maintain strong love for one another?
The message from our risen Savior to the Ephesian church has powerful implications for our lives today. Read the passage in preparation for Sunday: Revelation 2:1-7. Can’t wait for church – see you there!
In Jesus name,