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John Brown :: Revelation 2:1-7

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Revelation 2:1-7

There is only one sort of love, but there are a thousand copies.--François de La Rochefoucauld

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Matthew 16:18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (NKJV)

1. At His death, he descended into hell and set free all who had died in faith and took them to Paradise with Him.

2. He still retains the keys and hell can never again hold any who die in faith!

3. 2 Corinthians 5:8 tell us We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. (NKJV)

B. We musn't make the mistake of thinking that because the Lord "chooses" to allow us entrance to Heaven, that we are by any means "perfected" while here in the flesh!!

1. We, though Christians, are still flesh and blood and therefore we remain sinners.

2. It only stands to reason that the churches we attend are not perfect either.

a) Ephesians 5:23, 25-27... Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.....Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (NKJV)

b) This is what Jesus "chooses" to do in order that we may see Heaven.

c) The reality is that the churches are full of "spots and wrinkles."

C. The churches represented in chapters 2 &3 are seven in number!

1. As we said last week the number 7 in scripture signifies completion, or totality.

a) Just as the Lord rested on the 7th day when the work was complete!

2. These 7 representations were at John's time separate and distinct churches, each with a distinct body of believers.

a) Visitors to the Holy Land today visit the locations of these 7 churches. Most of them in ruins!

3. As 7 in number, They also represent all churches that will exist `till the Lord's return.

a) Therefore, there is a message for all Christians in all churches!

D. There is also something here that we should not overlook!

1. Though certainly not the central theme, we mustn't miss the logical sequential order of the Lord's dealing with the churches!

2. Nothing in Scripture is ever there by accident so, we will also be able to see a downward spiral of the churches as we deal with each one!

3. This morning we will deal with the church in Ephesus!

II. EPHESUS

A. Ephesus was a rich, seaport, capital city of the province of Asia, (Now modern southwest Turkey).

1. Any time you have pagan, idol worship you are going to have gross immorality.

2. Such was the case in Ephesus - dominated by the worship of Diana, the fertility goddess. Also known as Artemis.

3. In was in the middle of this that Paul established the church and spent more time there than in any other church! (according to Acts 19, Acts 20:31)

4. It is to this church (some 40 years later) that this letter is addressed!

III. TEXT

A. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (NKJV)

B. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (NKJV)

C. Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (NKJV)

D. Hebrews 12:3-4 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. (NKJV)

E. James 1:21-25 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (NKJV)

F. Matthew 6:19-24 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 "but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (NKJV)

G. 1 John 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (NKJV)

H. Revelation 22:1-3 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. (NKJV)

If there is anything better than to be loved it is loving.--Anonymous

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