Thoughts On Revelation (2)
The study in Revelation is going really well and is giving much insight into Jesus’ message to His church. We are currently looking at the specific message to each of the seven churches listed in the Revelation. These seven churches were located in Asia Minor, in an area now part of western Turkey. Each church receives rebukes and encouragement in accord with its condition. In our study we have found that the instruction applies not only to those churches but to the church of all ages and all places.
The first letter is addressed to Ephesus, and it is the only one of the seven that is mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament. The church at Ephesus was founded by the Apostle Paul on his third missionary journey. The city was filled with pagan worship, especially with its great temple of Artemis, built in honor of the goddess of fertility. Despite being in the center of paganism, the church grew and prospered. It was founded somewhere around 53-56 A.D.
We now fast forward some forty years to 95 A.D. What has been happening to the church during that interval? The answer comes in the Revelation. Jesus sends a message to that church where He says in essence, “I know all about you. I know that you work hard, you have great patience, and you don’t tolerate false teachers. I commend you for that.” He then brings to their attention one very serious flaw. In simple terms He says, “You don’t love Me like you did at the first.” His message to them is also for us. It is for each of us to stop and consider whether or not we have become so distracted by so many things that we are not loving God and others as we should. If that is the case, Jesus gives the remedy. Repent!
– Terry A. Morrison