Summary: What God expects from a church is often different from what the Church thinks he expects. This was true at Ephesus and is true at many other churches.
-Seven Golden Candlesticks are the seven churches.
-Seven stars are their ministers
-Why only seven of the churches – why not Troas, Miletus, Colosse, or Hieropolis?
-These seven letters contain messages valuable to our church.
Let us identify what God loves about these seven churches and those things in which he hates. Let us realize there are things he loves about our church and those things in which he hates.
I.The Recipient (v. 1)
II.The Commendation (v. 2-3)
A.I know thy works and labor
1.God looks for good things
2.God remembers them
B.I know your patience or steadfastness
1.The church patiently endured. The word means to persevere and to be steadfast in serving Christ and in standing against all the temptations and trials of life. The church was steadfast in studying and proclaiming the gospel and in ministering to the needs of the needy
C.I know you do not bear evil
1.The church could not bear those who were evil. This refers to sin and evil, men who were corrupt and polluted and who lived for the world instead of living for God. The church could not tolerate the sin and shame, dirt and pollution, filth and destruction of evil.
D.You have tested and rejected false apostles
1.The church tested all the preachers and teachers of the church and rejected the false. If a teacher confessed that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had come in the flesh, he was accepted and allowed to teach. If he denied that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh, he was not allowed to teach. The church could not tolerate false teachers and stood against all false teaching. They were loyal to Christ. They did just what Scripture exhorts: they tested the spirits of the teachers.
2.“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:1-3; cp. 1 John 2:22-23; Matthew 7:15-20).
E.The church bore up under all for the sake of Christ’s name.
-did not faint
-Why? For Christ’s name sake. They did it all and bore so much for Christ’s sake.
-They worked and toiled
-They patiently endured.
-They did not bear or put up with evil.
-They tested and rejected false teachers.
III.The Complaint (v. 4)
A. The church members has one or more of these problems in their life:
-They had lost their feelings of warmth and tenderness for Christ.
-They had lost their sensitivity to Christ, their fervor, spark, and unction.
-They were not fellowshipping and communing nor praying and sharing with Christ—not like they did when they were first converted.
-They were not walking in a consciousness and awareness of Christ’s presence and rejoicing in Him throughout the day.
B.This church is a church that has surrendered itself to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the picture of a church that is loyal and devoted to Christ, a church that is orthodox and loves the Bible through and through. It is the picture of just what a church should be. But there is one thing lacking.
IV.God Gives them Council (v. 5a)
A.First, remember from where you have fallen. Think back over your former love for the Lord. Remember His presence:
-the feelings of warmth and tenderness
-the fervor, spark, and unction
- seeing things through God’s eyes
-the fellowship and communion with Him
-the prayer and sharing
-the consciousness and awareness of His presence
-the joy and rejoicing of His presence that filled your heart
-Again, remember the Lord’s presence, the love that existed between you and Him.
B.Second, repent: turn away from whatever has pulled you away from Christ.
-Something has drawn you away from Christ.
-You are attached to something more than you are to Christ.
-Something else is consuming your thoughts and energies.
C.Third, do the first works that you did.
-Take personal inventory
-Rest not until you have recovered the ground that you have lost
-Why? Because there is a warning---
V. The Warning (v. 5-6)
-If you don’t I will remove my anointing on this church
-How many churches have been removed by Christ? How many churches...
-are nothing more than form?
-lack the presence of Christ in the services?
-lack the light and witness of Christ and His power?
-Doctrinal Purity is not enough