The church at Ephesus was surely happy to receive a letter from Jesus because He praised them for their commitment to truth and the work of the Gospel. The Lord didn’t stop there, however, but went on to confront a serious problem: they had lost their first love. Alistair Begg challenges us to consider our own lives and churches in light of Jesus’ words, then to repent and live for Him now and always.
1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
2“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
Everyone loves to receive mail, especially when it’s from someone we deeply love or respect. How much more, then, would we long to know what Jesus would say in a letter to us?
The truth is that He did write letters to His Church – specifically, to seven first century churches – and sent His mail through the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation. As Alistair Begg guides us through these letters, we learn that the issues addressed by the Lord Jesus 2000 years ago are timeless in their application. Churches and individual Christians today face the same challenges, and we need to hear the same words of warning and encouragement as those early believers: words that say He knows our circumstances; words that call us to reject compromise; words that promise faithfulness will be rewarded in the coming Kingdom.
The risen Lord Jesus has sent the Church some mail. Are we prepared to read what He’s written?
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