Summary: Study three of the Book of Revelation.
The chief city of the province of Asia.
Ephesus was the jewel of Asia.
A beautiful thriving metropolis, which at times had one to two million people, gathered in its streets.
The side of one of the mountains had a theatre, which seated twenty thousand people.
She had a great amphitheater, which seated one hundred thousand people.
The city was formed around the temple of Diana by the Anatolians who worshiped her.
The first temple was a wooden structure, built in a low place near the ocean where the waves lapped at its base.
By the time Paul came to Ephesus the city and the temple were built on a higher plateau because the Maeander River brought so much silt that it filled in around the temple filling in the harbor.
At the site of the old temple which had burned down, a foundation of charcoal and skins was placed over this area, and Alexander the Great led in the construction of a new temple of Diana which became one of the wonders of the ancient world.
It was the largest Greek temple ever constructed. In it were over one hundred external columns about fifty-six feet high.
The temple served as the bank for Asia and was a depository of vast sums of money.
It was also an art gallery displaying masterpieces of the greatest artist of ancient times.
Around the temple of Diana were performed the grossest forms of immorality. She was the goddess of vertility and worshipped more than any other idol. Her worshippers indulged in the vilest religious rites of sensuality and orgies.
Paul came to Ephesus on his third missionary journey where he had spent two years spreading the word of God.
John, the “apostle of love”, came to Ephesus as a pastor.
After his exile to Patmos, he returned to Ephesus.
The Basilica of Saint John, which is the highest point there, is built over the traditional burial spot of the apostle John.
Letter to the Church of Ephesus
Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus
He holds the church in his hands.
Ephesus is the jewel of the orient and brims with crass materialism.
Ephesus is the center of paganism and degraded animalism.
The church is still in his control though it’s surrounded by evil.
He holds the seven stars the preachers of the churches.
He holds the stars in his right hand; he holds them with power.
He walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, which literally means he is walking up and down the aisles of the churches because they are precious to him.
He has seven words of commendation for this church.
I know thy works.
He is speaking to the believers of the church (Titus 3:5).
After you are saved he wants to talk about good works (Romans 4:5).
They are spirit filled believers (Ephesians 5:18).
The Lord commends them for their good work.
I know thy labour.
The word labour carries a meaning of weariness.
They suffered weariness in their labour for His work.
I know thy patience.
They were mature Christians.
Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
How thou canst bear them which are evil.
Thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.
They tested everyone who came to Ephesus claiming to be apostles.
The Lord Jesus tested them for testing men.
Hast borne . . . for my name’s sake hast laboured.
They preached Christ.
They paid a price for their beliefs.
And hast not fainted.
They have not grown weary of the work of Jesus Christ.
They grow weary in the work but not of the work.
These seven words of commendation, which Jesus gave to the Church of Ephesus, also apply to the period of church history approximately between Pentecost and A.D. 100.
D. He has only one word of condemnation.
Thou hast left thy first love.
They had lost their intense and enthusiastic devotion to their service to Jesus Christ.
Ephesus offered many distractions that could draw away those Christians who were neither hold nor cold.
When your home life and your church life become a burden, there is something wrong with your relationship to Jesus Christ.
The second generations of Christians were now the leaders in the church. They didn’t have the same drive and commitment as the first generation whom suffered growing their church.
What is the solution to get back to the dynamic love they once had?
The first thing they are suppose to do is to remember what a marvelous thing it is to be in love with Jesus Christ.
Remember where they once were and repent. They need to turn back to Jesus and receive the salvation that He can give and release all the sin that is holding them back from productive Christian lives (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).