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Summary: The message to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 reveals some VERY important challenges for churches today. The important question is: Will we heed the warnings and advice of the past?

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The Seven Churches

Revelation, Part 3, Revelation 2:1-3:21

Introduction

- I want to cover all seven churches today … why? Why preach all of this?

- IMP: It’s too important to break this up and have folks miss it …

- Over-arching theme: 2 Tim 4:2 says “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

-- We ought to be able to give an answer …

-- We must be able to give hope to the future and why we believe …

- Letters to the churches: It is God's report card of where they (we) are!

- This is the most important chapters because it talks TO the church

-- Chap 2 and 3 are words for right now and things to be on the lookout for

-- IMP: We must avoid the pitfalls of where the Lord is not pleased with us

- I want you to note the lamp stands: this is a bearer of light, not the source

-- It is a platform for light to be placed on; the source of the light is Jesus

- Pray

Ω Point 1 - Church of Ephesus

Read Chapter 2:1-7

- They work hard; they tested false apostles (prophets)

- They have endured hardships in Jesus name; they have not grown weary

- This church has stood up to conflict and has been faithful to Christ

- Sounds like a solid church? Watch the complaint God has against them

- They have forgotten their first love!! (They have forgotten God!)

-- Ephesus means “darling or maiden of choice” – it’s an affectionate term

-- Joel 2:12-13 says “"Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”

- APP: They need to see how far they have fallen

-- They are told to repent and return to worshipping God … otherwise; the church will be destroyed (by removing the lamp stand that represents them)

- Hate practices – Love people … church doctrine

-- You can not approve of how someone lives, but still love them fully

-- Connecting people to Jesus and each other is our motto: love the sinner

- Read verse 7 again:

-- Reward awaits (to eat from the tree of life)

-- APP: Those that stay the course, can expect to eat from this tree forever

Ω Point 2 - Church of Smyrna

Read Chapter 2: 8-11

- Smyrna’s root word “Smurna” which in Hebrew translates to “myrrh”

-- Myrrh was given as a present as a symbol of suffering, or death (Magi)

-- Gold meant royalty & frankincense was deity; but myrrh means suffering

-- At the second coming, you will note that myrrh is not presented to Jesus

- There are slanderers among them, but Jesus knows who they are

-- They claim to be faithful to God’s law (and the Jews) but are not

-- These are part of the synagogue of Satan; father of lies; the great deceiver

-- John 8:44 says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”


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