Summary: After the Lord pats them on the back, He makes a Transition. VS. 4 “NEVERTHELESS, I HAVE SOMEWHAT AGAINST THEE, BECAUSE THOU HAST LEFT THY FIRST LOVE.” To be a Christian means to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all that you are. Love and Servanthood.
TITLE: YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING
SCRIPTURE: REVELATION 2:1-4
I lift as a thought this morning -- "YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVING' FEELING'" - This was the title of a song written by Phil Spector – Barry Mann – Cynthia Weil. It was first recorded by THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS in 1964, and was produced by Phil Spector. The original Righteous Brothers version was a critical and commercial success on its release –
• Becoming a number-one hit single in both the United States and the United Kingdom in February 1965
• It was the fifth best-selling song of 1965 in the US
• It also entered the Top 10 in the UK chart on an unprecedented three separate occasions
I know the younger generation is not familiar with this song or artists at all. Most of us my generation and older are more familiar with the DUET VERSION that came out in 1971 featuring the singers ROBERTA FLACK and DONNY HATHAWAY, this particular version peaked at #30 on the BILLBOARD R&B SINGLES CHART. I was going to recite the words of the song but I felt at the last minute it would not be appropriate from the Pulpit on a Sunday morning.
In this text we find JOHN IS IN PRISON ON THE ISLAND OF PATMOS. He is given a vision, a revelation of Jesus Christ. John sees His glory and says, "WHEN I SAW HIM I FELL AT HIS FEET AS THOUGH DEAD." Then Christ puts his hand on John and says, "DO NOT BE AFRAID. I AM THE FIRST AND THE LAST. I AM THE LIVING ONE; I WAS DEAD, AND BEHOLD I AM ALIVE FOR EVER AND EVER."
John is told to write what he sees and the Lord begins this revelation by addressing Seven Churches Found in Asia Minor. The seven churches listed here in Revelation 2 - were actual, historical churches in Asia Minor. They are representative of churches that have existed throughout the church age. What Christ says here to the churches is still relevant in our day and age.
Notice what Christ says to this church in the first five verses of this passage. First, the risen Christ speaks to his church in VS. 1 "TO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS WRITE."
• We know a lot about the church at Ephesus
• It was a privileged church that had been greatly blessed
• The church at Ephesus was planted by the Apostle Paul and it began with a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit
• You can read the events in Acts 19
There is evidence that John had strong links with this church. Timothy later served as its Pastor.
• Paul tells him to "stay … in Ephesus" in 1 TIMOTHY 1
• When Paul says farewell to the Ephesians Elders in Acts 20, he weeps and so do they, because they know they won't see each other again
• The Letter to the Ephesians was also written to this Church
• It was a marvelous church, privileged and blessed in every way
• But as time went on we now hear the Lord saying to this Church – You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
Church history tells us Ephesus was a great Commercial – Political - Religious - And A Sports Town. The location of Ephesus made it a great place to live and work. In the beginning part of AD cities that sat at the mouth of rivers commanded the trade of the regions. Ephesus lay at the mouth of the CAYSTER VALLEY making it one of the greatest harbors in all of Asia Minor. Not only did Ephesus have a great Seaport, but three great roads also connected it to the rest of Asia, and the world.
• The greatest of these roads was the great trade route from the EUPHRATES, which reached Ephesus by way of COLOSSE and LAODICAEA, and brought the trade of the East by way of the markets
• The road from Galatia came into Ephesus by way of SARDIS, and poured into its lap the trade of Asia Minor
• A third road came up from the south, and added the trade of the MAEANDER VALLEY to the trade of the CAYSTER VALLEY
• In commerce and in wealth there were few cities that could match up with Ephesus in its day
• We have heard the Phrase “ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME”
• In actuality – “ALL ROADS LEAD TO EPHESUS”
Ephesus was also a city of the greatest political importance in Asia. Once again church history tells us that Ephesus enjoyed the title of ‘SUPREME METROPOLIS OF ASIA.’
• This was what was known as a free city
• Ephesus also was granted political freedom by Rome, because of its status as the premier town in Asia