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The Loveless Church (Revelation 2-3)

Sermon on 28 June 2020 by Pastor Justin



Introduction

Today we start the series on “the church” comprising 7 parts, focusing on the 7 letters to 7 churches in Asia Minor, which is modern day Turkey. The book of Revelation reveals prophetic events surrounding the vision and symbols of the resurrected Christ, written by the apostle John on the island of Patmos during his exile. In reading the book of Revelation, let us not focus on the timetable of prophetic events. Rather, let our focus be on our Lord Jesus Christ, for He holds the future.

The instructions for reading the book of Revelation are in the beginning of the book.

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, - Revelation 1:1

Instruction #1: This book is called the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation means unveiling. Only God, not man, can unveil His truth to us.

Instruction #2: This book is given to His servant. It is not meant for everyone, but if you are a servant of God, it is for you. God will only reveal spiritual things to obedient servants of Christ. Remember, obedience before knowledge.

Who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. - Revelation 1:2-3

Instruction #3: This book is given for us to obey.

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. - Revelation 1:14

This is the promise of an intimate relationship with the Lord, beginning and ending with obedience.

Message

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: - Revelation 2:1

Point #1: Jesus is always walking in our midst. This is so comforting. He watches everything we do.

“I know your works, you labour, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; - Revelation 2:2

Point #2: Jesus knows everything about our works. He knows liars, arrogance and pretences. He approves all that is right in His eyes. Showing appreciation is a sure sign of our love. Let us be generous in our encouragement of others.

And you have persevered and have patience, and have laboured for My name’s sake and have not become weary. - Revelation 2:3

The church of Ephesus emphasized the doctrine of Christ. However, in the next verse, we come to the problem.

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. - Revelation 2:4

Point #3: The first love. The church of Ephesus did everything right, but it lacked the main thing the Lord is looking for. They left their first love – the love for the Lord and the love for one another in the church. If doing everything becomes a routine without love for Him, it becomes a religious ritual instead. Good work can become dead work if it is not motivated by first love. The church is the bride of Christ. Let us do everything from our love of Christ.

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent. - Revelation 2:5

Point #4: Repent and do the first works.

In humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, - 2 Timothy 2:25

But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’ - Revelation 2:6-7

Point #5: Be an overcomer.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10

Jesus is among us. He will strengthen us. We can go through difficulties and overcome trials. We must repent and obey, to become overcomers. The Lord is interested in the overcomers.

Closing

Ask yourself these 4 questions:

1. Have we lost sight of Jesus in all you do and in our serving Him this day?

2. Have we lost our daily fervent devotion to Jesus this day?

3. Have we lost our obedience and enthusiasm for Christ this day?

4. Have we lost our tolerance for false teaching and deceitful spirits and teachings of demons this day?

Your answers to these questions determine the value of your serving unto the Lord. It is only when we submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of our life that the Spirit of Christ can effectively operate in us, making us an overcomer.

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