Summary: Comparing this church to the churches of today.
“THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS” Revelation 2:1-7
Introduction: Revelation shares with us 7 letters to 7 churches. Let’s look at the Church of Ephesus in light of our text. This was the most desirable of all the churches in the Church Age. It was a loving church; built and grounded on love. The book of Ephesians has a chapter concerning Jesus’ love and how we are to love our mates.
• THIS CHURCH WAS NOT A WEAK CHURCH,
• NOR WAS IT A WORLDLY CHURCH.
• IN FACT, WE COULD SAY THIS WAS A WONDERFUL CHURCH.
I. THEY HAD LEADERSHIP
A. FROM THEIR PASTORS
1. THE APOSTLE PAUL (ACTS 20)
A. WITNESSING TO THEM
B. WARNING THEM
C. WEEPING OVER THEM
ILLUSTRATE: ACTS 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
PAUL DIRECTS THEM TO LOOK UP TO GOD WITH FAITH, AND COMMENDS THEM TO THE WORD OF GOD'S GRACE, AS
• THE FOUNDATION OF THEIR HOPE
• THE FOUNTAIN OF THEIR JOY
• THE RULE OF THEIR WALKING
OBSERVE HOW THE PERSONAL IS PUT BEFORE THE PASTORAL CARE.--HEBREWS 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
2. THE APOSTLE JOHN
A. A MAN OF LOVE
B. A MAN OF LIGHT
C. A MAN OF LEADERSHIP
ILLUSTRATE: The Apostle John was the pastor at the church in Ephesus, and at this point he was so old that he could no longer walk. Sunday after Sunday they other elders would carry him in on a mat and set him in the middle of the assembly. From this mat he would teach. At one point he would just mutter the words "beloved love one another, beloved love one another" This went on for several months. Finally one of the elders said to him, "Brother John that is a great message, but don’t you think we could hear something else." John looked at him and said "when we learn this lesson we will move on to the next one."
LET US EVER BE READY TO PROMOTE EACH OTHER'S…
• SPIRITUAL WELFARE
• TEMPORAL WELFARE.
LOVE ACTS LIKE GOD…
• GOD LOVES MAN,
• GOD DAILY LOADS HIM WITH HIS BENEFITS.
• HE THAT LOVETH MOST HAS MOST OF GOD IN HIM;
3. THE YOUNG PASTOR TIMOTHY
A. A MAN OF EXCITEMENT
B. A MAN OF ENDURANCE
C. A MAN OF EXAMPLE
ILLUSTRATE: PASTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE REPORT
NOAH: Had Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects. Animal lover, but the last neighborhood received a flood of complaints right as he was leaving town.
JOSEPH: A big thinker, but a braggart; believes in dream interpreting and has a prison record over accusations of a rape of his bosses wife. Good with budgets and managing resources, however.
MOSES: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator; even stutters at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings. Some say he left an earlier church over a
Murder charge. Often claims to get direct quotes from God. Too much over the top for most folks. He was a basket case from the beginning.
DEBORAH: One word---Female.
DAVID: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor’s wife. Besides, he can’t control his own household... so how could we respect him.
SOLOMON: Great preacher, but he too, has had serious women problems. Independently wealthy, so the church could pay him less and he can make up the difference.
ELIJAH: Prone to depression; collapses under pressure. Besides, no one has seen him in a long time. Doesn’t blend well with other religious leads, either.
HOSEA: A tender and loving pastor, but our people could never handle his wife’s occupation.
JONAH: Told us he was swallowed up by a great fish. He said the fish later spit him out on the shore near here three days later. We hung up.
AMOS: Too much of a country hick. Backward and unpolished. With some seminary training, he might have promise; but he has a hang-up against wealthy people.
JOHN: Says he is a Baptist, but doesn’t dress like one. May be too Pentecostal. Tends to lift both hands in the air to worship when he gets excited. You know we limit to one hand. Sleeps in the outdoors, has a weird diet, and provokes denominational leaders.