E-Free Church - Gaylord Campus
To The Church at Ephesus
What can we learn from the letters Jesus writes to the 7 churches in Revelation?
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  • E-Free Church - Gaylord Campus
    1602 M-32, Gaylord, MI 49735, USA
    Saturday 5:00 PM
The CORRESPONDENT (2:1)

Though not named specifically, the writer is Jesus (This description matches the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:13, 16)
7 stars = 7 angels – (see Revelation 1:20)
7 lampstands = 7 churches – (Revelation 1:20; Matthew 5:14-16)

Who is the angel? Possibly an angel assigned to that local church; Possibly a reference to the pastor (angel = messenger)
The CHURCH (2:1)

The Gospel was introduced to this city by Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:18-19) who were soon joined by Apollos (Acts 18:24-26)

Paul stopped briefly in Ephesus at the end of his second missionary journey (Acts 18:19-21), but his real ministry in this city took place during his third missionary journey

By the time of this letter, four decades had passed since the church started in Ephesus and all of its original leaders were gone (This is the same church that the book of Ephesians was written to)
The CITY (2:1)

The most influential city in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey)
It’s population in the NT was between 250,000 and 500,000 people
Center of the worship of the goddess Artemis (Diana) [Acts 19:27,35]
The COMMENDATION (2:2-3,6)

Jesus “knows” (full and complete knowledge) their deeds

Toil = labor to the point of sweat and exhaustion
Perseverance = Literally to “bear up under” bad circumstances
Cannot tolerate evil men = moral purity; sensitive to sin
Put to test apostles = doctrinal purity; like Bereans of (Acts 17)
Endured and not grown weary = They never quit (Galatians 6:9)

You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans
Letter to Pergamum links it to Balaam’s false teaching that led Israel astray in Numbers 22 (see Revelation 2:14-15)

Some believe this goes back to the Deacon Nicolas in Acts 6:5 who turned Apostate and led people into idolatry/immorality
The CONCERN (2:4)

Jesus points out a fatal flaw = They had left their first love

Loving God is the greatest commandment (Mathew 26:36-38)
Earlier Paul commended for their love for God (Ephesians 6:24)
The church at Ephesus didn’t even realize this – a blind spot

What can replace Jesus as our first love?
Love of self (2 Timothy 3:2)
Love of money (1 Timothy 6:10; 1 John 2:15)
Love of family (Luke 14:26)
Love of applause (3 John 1:9)
Love of sin (Matthew 24:12)
The COMMAND (2:5)

Christ told them how to correct this flaw

REMEMBER = remember your spiritual highpoint; “Keep on”
REPENT = change your mind; deliberate rejection of their action
RETURN = to the disciplines that fanned the flame of loving God

Christ shared the consequences if they did not correct this flaw

I am coming = coming in local judgment on that church
Remove your lampstand = bring to an end their impact/existence;
The COUNSEL (2:7)

He who has ears…let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches

This is how Jesus closes each of the 7 letters to the 7 churches
“Churches” is plural showing that it applies to all churches

Him who overcomes = all true Christians (1 John 5:4-5 same author)

I will grant to eat of the tree of life in the Paradise of God

First mentioned in Genesis 2:9 in the Garden of Eden
The “tree of life” today is in heaven (Revelation 22:2,14,19)
The “tree of life” symbolizes eternal life