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Summary: The church (believer) that stays in love with Jesus stays lit.

If Jesus Passed a Note in Church, What Would It Say? Series

(Series of sermon content original to W. Herschel Ford)

To the Church Who Left Their First Love

Rev. 2:1-7

Oct. 8, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor

Introduction:

A Story

B Ephesus (the capital of the province of Asia) was, from a New Testament standpoint, the most important of the cities to which Paul wrote.

1 Paul, in Acts (19:1-7) found a group of believers there who already believed in Jesus, but knew only of John the Baptist’s baptism (nothing about Holy Spirit).

2 He made his home is Ephesus for 3 years (20:31)

3 Timothy’s ministry was also in Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3, 2 Tim. 1:18)

4 According to later Christian tradition (Iranaeus & Eusebius), John had ministry "in" Ephesus as well.

5 Ephesus had enjoyed some "stellar" leadership (Paul, Timothy, John), but the Lord reminded them that He was in control of the ministry, placing the "stars" where He pleased.

C "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: 2 ’I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 ’But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 ’Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. 6 ’Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 ’He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’ Rev 2:1-7 (NASB)

D These are Jesus’ prophetic words (2:1) through the Spirit (2:7) who is inspiring John (1:10).

1 We get to read other people’s mail today (v.7)

a Churches (plural)-If the shoe fits, wear it

b Overcomes-endurance in the coming trials

2 Dispensationalism view has this church is Apostolic church age.

E Jesus told the church at Ephesus that all their work done without love for Him was worthless (essence of the text in a sentence).

1 The church/believer that stays in love with Jesus stays lit (essence of the sermon in a sentence).

a I pray you’ll rediscover the love you knew when you first met the Lord (objective).

b What do you need to do to rediscover the love you knew when you first met the Lord? (Probing question)

2 Let’s look at two things from Jesus’ note to the church of Ephesus that can help rediscover our love for Him (transitional sentence).

3 Pray

I What the church had going for them.

A Jesus saw all the wonderful service that First Church of Ephesus were engaged in. ’I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 6 ’Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

1 I know your deeds and your toil... (hard work)

a This was a church that had a weekly schedule that was chock-full of activities (busy, not lazy).

b It was on the job for Jesus.

2 I know your perseverance... (patience)

a They had suffered great persecution, but they hadn’t given up on Jesus.

b When the going got tough at that church, the tough stuck around.

3 I know you cannot endure evil men & false doctrine...

a Members living a sinful life at Ephesus church were called out

b They didn’t want members unless they were holy people.

aa Open sin-GONE, inactive-GONE, no hard work-GONE

c Didn’t tolerate evil doctrine!

aa "Put to the test", "hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans"

bb The church of Ephesus could smell unsound doctrine a mile away (warned by Paul in Acts 20:28-30) "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Acts 20:28-30 (NASB)

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