Summary: The first in a series of seven sermons on the seven churches of the book of Revelation
Sermon By: Dr. Todd Morris
Title: When The Flame Becomes An Ember (Seven Churches #1)
Text: Revelation 2:1-7
Date: May 21, 2006
Intro. IN Revelation 1:11 John lists seven churches by name. Beginning in chapter 2 Jesus has a word for each of these congregations. This morning I am beginning a series of messages that will deal with each of these seven churches and their members. As we begin this series I want you to bear in mind that these churches can be seen in many ways, and there are many things that must be taken into consideration as we study them.
First they may be viewed prophetically. Those of us who are dispensationalists, and I count myself as one, believe that each of these churches represent a different stage in the life of Christ’s church over the past 2,000 plus years. Ephesus is representative of the early church between the Day of Pentecost and about 100AD. This was a time of great expansion for the church, but it was also a time when the church began to lose some of its fervency.
The churches may also be viewed practically. These letters were sent to literal churches in the first century. While they speak of specific churches in that day, they will also speak to every church in existence today. God has a word for Abney Baptist Church in these letters.
The churches may also be viewed personally. These letters speak to congregations of people, but we must be mindful that there are individuals that these letters speak to as well. God has something to say to you and me about our relationship with Him.
As I preach through these letters I will allude to all of the aspects of interpretation, but I want to major on the practical application. God has a word for Abney in each of these letters.
This first letter is to the church at Ephesus. Ephesus is an important city. It is a major commercial, political, and religious power. It was home to the temple of Dianna, the goddess of sex and fertility, and people came from all over the world to worship there. Their form of worship was elicit sex with Temple Prostitutes.
Paul had founded the church here, served it as pastor for two years, wrote I and II Corinthians while he was there, and left Timothy there as the Bishop. John spent the last years of his life there as well, writing his Gospel and three epistles there. And tradition tells us that Mary, the mother of Jesus is buried there.
It was a busy church, serving at a wicked time in history. Thirty years have passed, and the Lord inspires John to write to the church sharing where they have been and where they are. Let’s take a look at the church at Ephesus, and see if we can draw parallels to the church at Abney.
I JESUS EXAMINES THEIR REPUTATION (2-3, 6)
A. He Commends Their Service (2a)
1. There Works Are Many
2. There Labor Is Fervent
3. There Patience Was Noteworthy
B. He Commends Their Separation (2b) – They lived a separated lifestyle. They were completely different from the world.
C. He Commends Their Standards (2c, 6) – They stood for right and against wrong.