Summary: 1. Background on Ephesus 2. Revealed Characteristic of Christ 3. Compliments of Christ 4. The Weaknesses of Church of Ephesus 5. How to fix the problems 6. Warning 7. Reward for faithfulness

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September 14, 2003

Title: Ephesus

Text: Rev. 2:1-7


Last week, we looked at the picture of Jesus Christ;

standing among the 7 candlesticks

each one representing one of the 7 churches that we will be studying...

Walking among them...

inspecting them

congratulating them on things they are doing well

condemning them about areas where they need to improve

And we mentioned that TODAY

Jesus is still visiting His churches...

speaking to them...

inspecting them...

ministering to them...

and disciplining them...

But, sometimes, I wonder if the church is really listening...

Jesus knew of the dangers of getting distracted...

the dangers of losing our focus...

that’s why; over and over again he said,

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches"

This message isn’t only for the 7 Churches in Turkey...

This message is for Belleview Church of the Nazarene.

We need to hear the message that Christ has for His Church today!

Tonight, as we study the Church at Ephesus, I believe that God has some things to say to Belleview Church of the Nazarene as well.

Let’s open our ears, and listen...everybody what God has to say to us this evening.

Read Text: Rev. 2:1-7

1. Background on Ephesus

All 7 of these churches are in what we call Turkey today.

Ephesus is near the modern city of Selcuk.

Ephesus was populated by the Greeks about 1200 BC.

With its proximity to the Aegean Sea, it was a major seaport...

and it became a major city.

And being one the Cayster River, it was a gateway for trade to all of Asia Minor.

By the 1st Century, Ephesus was a major Roman City.

It was the city where the Roman Governor lived.

It was a major metropolis.

The Ephesians worshipped the goddess Diana, the Roman goddess of fertility and nature.

It is associated the Greek goddess Artemis.

In fact, one of the 7 Wonders of the World is located in Ephesus...

the Temple of Diana (also called the Temple of Artemis

In the 2nd Century when Christians were being martyred...

fed to the lions for the entertainment of Rome...

they were shipped via Ephesus...

and Ignatius even refers to Ephesus as "the highway of martyrs."

Paul, recognizing the importance of this city...

founded the Church in Ephesus.

he spent more than 3 years there...

afterwards, he wrote the book of Ephesians to this church.

And even later, Paul assigned Timothy to Ephesus...

and wrote 2 letters to Timothy while Timothy was serving in Ephesus.

And early Church tradition states that John, the writer of Revelation, made Ephesus his home in his later years, before his death (source: People’s NT Commentary)

Perhaps John wrote to Ephesus first of the 7 churches because it was the closest,

only60 miles away...

and because of its importance...

and because it was the church that John thought of as his home church.

2. Characteristic of Christ

In each of the letters to the 7 Churches, the letter describes a specific characteristic of Jesus Christ which was first mentioned in Chapter 1

There is certainly some thinking that Jesus chose to reveal Himself in a particular way to each particular church for a particular reason.

And I’m sure there is some truth in that.

Even today, Jesus reveals Himself differently to different people and different churches.

To the Church of Ephesus, Jesus Christ reveals Himself as the one "who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands" Rev 2:1 (NIV).

Which is a reference back to Rev. 1 where we see Christ walking among the lampstands...

holding the 7 stars in the palm of His hand--which represents the 7 Churches.

Perhaps, because of the persecution that this church was facing...

they needed the reassurance that God was in control...

they needed to know that Jesus was in their midst...

that He held them in His hand...

and thus, Christ reveals Himself in a way that will encourage them.

3.Compliments of Christ.

Each of these letters to the 7 churches follows a similar pattern...

After the mention of the specific charactistic of Jesus Christ...

there follows a portion of Scripture where Christ compliments those people.

And using this patter, Jesus begins to compliment the people of Ephesus...

He says, "I know your deeds"

"I know that you work hard"

"I know that you have persevered"

I Know that you do not tolerate people who claim to be My apostles but aren’t"

I know that you have endured hardships for My sake"

Let me divide these compliments into 3 areas...

First, Jesus knows about our hard work!

Do you ever get discouraged?

Do you ever feel like no one seems to know what you are going through?

Do you ever feel that no one cares?

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Anthony Mcdaniel

commented on Jul 15, 2007

Thorough, expository style. Good stuff.

John Montgomery

commented on Oct 27, 2011

Thank you brother for an excellent message. good treatment of this passage.

Randy Hamel

commented on Sep 22, 2012

Very well done - good job and a reminder of us all. I wonder whether some preachers today have removed sin, hell, judgement - and as a result the church is weak. Just a thought - were a new church plant and I am currently preaching through Revelation.

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