Summary: To the church at Ephesus, you have lost your first love.

I. Introduction

A. Ephesus

1. Means desirable

a. Such as a bridegroom would find his bride, desirable

2. It was the site of the main temple to Diana

a. But, this Diana was not the same Diana as the Greek or Roman goddess

b. This Diana was much older

(1) She was the mother of all life

(2) A fertility goddess of the most profane kind

(a) her worship included sexual immorality

(b) human sacrifice

(c) and many other degraded practices

B. Turn to Ephesians 1:15 & 16

1. Now this is Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus

Ephesians 1:15-16

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, (16) I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

2. The church at Ephesus was established on Paul's 3rd missionary journey

a. Where he stayed for 2 years, preaching and teaching

b. Then in about 61 AD Paul wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians

3. John's Revelation was written about 90 AD

a. So that at the writing of the Revelation the Church at Ephesus was only between 30 and 40 years old

b. Comparable with the age of Grace Baptist

C. As we examine Jesus words to the church at Ephesus we shall see

1. The Commendable

2. The Unworthy

3. The Warnings

4. And the Promises

D. But first there is something to be learned from preamble to this message concerning the Lord

Revelation 2:1

"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:

a. Jesus, the High Priest, holds the seven stars in His right hand

(1) He is the master of the messengers to the churches

(2) His right hand is the hand of power

(3) His right hand is the hand of authority

(4) He holds the pastors of these seven churches in His right hand

(5) He is the one who controls these men

b. And Jesus, the Prophet, walks among the seven golden lampstands

(1) He is the judge of the churches

(2) And He is there among them

(a) He judges

(b) He protects

(c) He comforts

(d) He commends

(e) He condemns

(f) He praises

(g) And He warns

c. Ryrie says that, in view of the lost first love, Jesus, here, is emphasizing a special relationship with the churches and their pastors. This special relationship is brought out in the Holding fast of the stars, and the walking among the lampstands as opposed to just having the stars and standing among the lampstands, as we saw in Chapter 1.

II. Body

A. The Commendable - Turn to Revelation 2:2 - 3

Revelation 2:2

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.

1. Hard work & Perseverance - Think about this

a. They had a going AWANA program

(1) The leaders were faithful

(2) The people were industrious

(3) The kids brought visitors

(4) They stuck to the Bible

b. They ministered to those in need

(1) Seeing that the sick were cared for

(2) That the poor and needy were provided for

(3) And they had a good big brother - big sister program for the fatherless

c. The word of God was proclaimed in truth

d. They worked hard and they persevered in this work

2. Orthodoxy - They tried those who came as apostles

a. This church diligently applied the tests John outlines in 1 John 4:1 ff

1 John 4:1-3

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (2) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, (3) but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

(1) In 2 Peter 2:1 - 2, the big fisherman warns about these false prophets

2 Peter 2:1-2

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. (2) Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

(2) Their deleterious teaching being difficult to detect because they come wrapped in half truths

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