Seven Churches – Ephesus: The Loveless Church (B)
Salutation – Rev 2:1
To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, “These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.”
The angel is the presiding bishop of the church. Timothy was the pastor of the congregation at Ephesus.
The seven stars are the seven pastors of the seven churches. The seven golden lampstands (seven-branched Menorah’s) represent the seven churches.
God’s right hand represents strength, safety, protection, honor and blessing. In other words, Jesus was holding the seven pastors in the palm of His hand. He was upholding them with His righteous right hand.
Assets – Rev 2:2-3
I know your works – your deeds and actions
Your labor – industry, activity
Your patience – endurance, stability
And that you cannot bear those who are evil – holiness expressed in hatred of evil
And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars – spiritual discernment
You have persevered and have patience – you have stuck in there and have forbearance
And have labored for My Name’s sake – not labored for themselves, but for the Lord.
And have not become weary – have waited on God, Isaiah 40:31
You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate – a false sect which had also infiltrated the church of Pergamos
Liabilities – Rev 2:4-5
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love – hearts have grown cold. Lack of love for Jesus and for one another.
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent – Get back to the basics or your light (revelation) will be removed.
This verse could possibly be interpreted as the Lord removing the church unless they return to their first love.
The church of Ephesus was busy doing the work of the ministry. They started out right (reaching out to people because of the love of God in their hearts). However, they got off track and their motivations for doing things changed. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that if we speak in tongues, prophesy, have all knowledge, give to the poor, have faith to move mountains, give our body to be martyred … yet have not love, it profits us nothing.
Our personal relationship with God is our first priority. It’s from that intimacy with the Lord that we reach out in ministry.
Promise – Rev 2:7
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.