Summary: To the Angel of the Church in Ephesus write: Beware Diligence without Devotion
To the Angel of the Church in Ephesus write: Beware Diligence without Devotion
September 27, 2009
* Every City becomes known for something. Good or bad we forever associate those characteristic with that city.
* Every Church becomes known for something. Good or bad we associate those characteristic with that Church and its people.
* Woven into the threads of prophecy in the book of revelation is a tale of churches in eight cities. When we look at them we discover the characteristics, good and bad, by which they became identified.
* Their tales of notoriety becomes a life lesson for every Follower of Jesus.
I. The Setting
9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me.
„X Patmos (or Patnos) is where John was exiled between 95 and 97 A.D. and was inspired to write the Book of Revelation.
„X Patmos, located off the coast of Then Asia Minor (Turkey), is a mountainous island with rocky soil and an abundance of small coves.
B. The Resurrected Christ
And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
19 "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.
„X Christ -- Human like, God like
„X Truth Claim is significant. I am First and Last (eternal). The incarnate, the one who died; the one who was forever raised. The one who holds all the keys.
C. Angels of the Seven Churches
It is evident from the contexts of the various Biblical passages in which the word "angel" appears, that the word does not always represent the same idea. In such passages as Dan 12:1 and Acts 12:15 it would seem that the angel was generally regarded as a superhuman being whose duty it was to guard a nation or an individual.
However, in Mal 2:7 and 3:1 (Hebrew) the word is clearly used to represent men. In the New Testament also, there are passages, such as Jas 2:25 (Greek), in which the word seems to be applied to men.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
The seven angels of the seven churches may refer to the seven bishops who presided over the seven churches of Asia. Or the angels may be regarded as the personifications of the churches.
II. The Message:
A. For Ephesus
A large and important city on the west coast of Asia Minor where the apostle Paul founded a church.
The first factor was economics. Ephesus was the most favorable seaport in the province of Asia and the most important trade center west of Tarsus.
Another factor was size. Although Pergamum was the capital of the province of Asia in Roman times, Ephesus was the largest city in the province, having a population of perhaps 300,000 people.
A third factor was culture. Ephesus contained a theater that seated an estimated 25,000 people.
The fourth, and perhaps most significant, reason for the prominence of Ephesus was religion. The Temple of Artemis (or Diana) at Ephesus ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
2. Christianity at Ephesus
Began perhaps as a result of the efforts of Priscilla and Aquila.