The Revelation: Part 2 - To Ephesus With Love
Updated: Oct 28, 2019
Ephesus was the wealthiest and greatest city in Asia. It was a very prosperous city because it was on a major trade route from Rome to the east, which made it well connected to the outside world.
Ephesus was a corrupt and sinful place that was home to many temples and many cults. It was the guardian of the temple of Artemis, and many people came from all over to worship her. The vast temple of Artemis survived through the ages and became known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The church in Ephesus was under a lot of pressure to conform to the ways of these cults. It was also exposed to the influence of the world from the many visitors who came to this popular city.
Imagery of Jesus
“These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.” (Revelation 2:1)
The Apostle John tells the church that this is a message from Jesus. The seven lampstands refer to the seven churches that John is addressing in his letter. Jesus is described as walking amidst the churches.
Message for the Church in Ephesus:
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” (Revelation 2:2-3)
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” (Revelation 2:4)
Warnings and Instructions
“Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Revelation 2:5-6)
Promise to the Overcomers
“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)
What a message! The church of Ephesus has: Endured and hung in there, did not allow false teachers in the church.
But look what Jesus has against them. He must have thought, “I know you love me, but you are not loving me the way you did when you first became a Christian. I do not have the first place in your heart.”
Take a look at the promise that was made to the overcomers, that they will “eat from the tree of life, which is the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).
Revelation 22 shows us more about the tree of life.
... down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2)
The tree of life is also mentioned in Genesis, where it is the knowledge of good and evil.
What can we learn from the Church in Ephesus?
We need to hold on to our first love for Jesus, and not just focus on having the right actions.
We get to eat from the tree of life, which enables us to discern between good and evil and be with Jesus in heaven one day.
Keira is 12 years old and an avid fan of Marvel! In her free time, she dances ballet and builds forts out of blankets with her younger brothers.
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Danny, Keira, Jojo (Josiah), Pei Ling, Titus
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