Summary: Looking at a church that has lost it’s first love
INTRO: How’s your love life? Take a poll on how long honeymoons last (answer by a show of hands). -How many think a honeymoon lasts one year, 6 months, 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 day. Saying: Some say the honeymoon is the period of time when you say "I do". .& you better.
ex couple watching TV, a romantic scene came on the TV. Two actors were kissing passionately. Wife pokes husband in the ribs and says, "Honey, why don’t you kiss me like that?" and husband replied, "Honey, don’t you realize how much they’re paying him to do that?"
Truth: Marriage can become a loveless routine - the emotions, the passion can fade. You may do the right things or even say the right things but the heart has grown dim.
-Those who’ve been married awhile realize how easy this can happen (to lose your first love).
TS: Our Christian life can be just the same. You’ve had an experience with God (personal relationship with God). You’ve had that excitement. But over time your hearts have grown cold. You may say the right things or even do the right things, but you’ve lost your first love.
-We’re going to look at a church that has done just this - lost their first love.
TITLE.: How’s Your Love Life
TEXT: Rev. 2:1-7 (Read)
Explanation - Over the next several weeks we are going to be learning about different types of churches as well as different types of Christians (churches & Christians).
A.The formula that we should watch for: -Who is it addressed to
-Description of Jesus Christ
-Word of commendation
-Word of challenge or counsel
B.Background - These 7 churches are in Asia minor. The one church (Ephesus) we might know today a modern-day Turkey.
1. John has revelation of Jesus Christ (read Rev. 1:17-19). While he is exiled on the island of Patmos about these 7 churches.
-I believe it’s also addressed to us today!
C. Text -to the angel, GK word angolos meaning messenger.
-There are times in scripture translated angel but many times it’s translated messenger.
1. OT - Jesus quotes OT concerning John the Baptist, "I will send my angolos (messenger) ahead of you referring to John the Baptist.
2. Jesus entering into the city of Jerusalem, as he approached the city. The scriptures said be sent angolos (messengers) on ahead (referring to the disciples).
Point: The word angolos a more accurate description is messenger and isn’t a pastor a messenger. (many commentaries say to the pastor of the church).
D. Understand church Ephesus - large commercial center, largest city in Asia minor, fourth largest city in the Roman empire, it had a population around 250,000 people.
1. Known - gateway to Asia, seaport city on the Agean Sea. It was very cosmopolitan city. Had a theater that would seat 25,000 people - mega city.
2. Religious center - temple of Dyana (KJV) was there. Considered one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. The temple was four times as large as the Parthanon in Greece.
-Dyana (KJV) pagan goddess of prostitutes or fertility - sexuality. An idol of Dyana (KJV) Artimus (NN) (a multi-bosom image of a woman).
3. Big industry - silver, silversmith make all these small idols for everyone (big business). Almost riot Acts 19 - Paul was preaching, people getting saved (stop buying idols - hurt business) so silversmiths started a riot.
a. Some have described this city as the Salem of Asia minor full of occultic practices. -Apostle Paul came about 55 AD planted a church - stayed three years to help it. -30 years later Jesus addressed this same church in Rev. Chap. 2.
A. Comfort - v. 1 (Read) stars and lamp stands (what are they?)
Answer 1:20 (Read) stars angels (messengers/pastors)
Lamp stands are churches.
1. Where are they in God’s right hand.
-A place of protection, comfort, and honor. I feel a great peace recognizing I’m right in middle of God’s hand. John 10:28 - "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."
2. Jesus walking among His golden lampstands - Jesus is walking among the pews inspecting each and everyone of us.
ex President Bush visiting the troops before the gulf war. The official line he was inspecting the troops. Images coming back to the American people of President and his wife wearing their fatigues walking around encouraging soldiers.
Point: Same today Jesus walking through the pews inspecting, encouraging the troops before the battle of the next week.
B. Commendation - verses 2-3 (Read)
1. I know your deeds - sobering thought, Lord knows what you’re doing and what you’re not doing.
a. Hardworking - The church was hardworking in doing the will of God (spreading gospel, discipling, impacting society).