If you migrated to another country, what kind of church would you join? You would want to join a church that loves the Lord, practices what the Bible teaches, believes in sound doctrine, is evangelistic, has godly leaders, helps her members grow in their walk with God.
The seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 exhibit unique strengths and weaknesses. These 7 churches are representative of churches that exist throughout history. There is a message specially directed to each church. The Lord has something to tell us today for we are exhorted to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Background of Ephesus
The first message was written to the church in Ephesus, one of the seven churches of Asia Minor. Ephesus was a large flourishing commercial city, and was home to the Temple of Diana.
Approval (v2, 3, 6)
The church was commended for her works, patience and endurance. They also tested the apostles and found them to be false, and did not tolerate the teaching of the Nicolatians. The latter perverted grace and replaced liberty with license.
However, the Lord ha a loving complaint against this church – she had forsaken her first love. The people in the church did not love Jesus like they used to at first.
How do we lose our love for the Lord? Maybe our relationship with Him is not deep enough. Maybe we are distracted by work, pleasure, the world, difficulties, carelessness.
Admonition (v5, 7)
The church was told to remember where they had fallen, and to repent. They were admonished and told to do their works they did at first with a renewed fervor and a passion for God, and this time out of sincere love and service for God. If not, God would remove their lampstand.
To the one who overcomes, they will eat of the tree of life in heaven. This alludes to the sweet fellowship that Adam and Eve had with God at first in the Garden of Eden. Overcomers will enjoy that first love for God again.