The Cure for the Common Cold (Rev 2:1-7 Ephesus)

THE CURE FOR THE COMMON COLD

Revelation 2:1-7  (NKJV)

The Loveless Church
1 “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:

2 “I know your works, your labor, 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; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.

4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp-stand from its place—unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7 “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.”’

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Intro:

The letters to the seven churches can be interpreted 3 different ways:  Prophetically, (Church history – Pentecost to 100 A.D.); Practically, (to a literal church, and to individual churches throughout history); Personally, (To every Christian believer.)

These seven message should speak to each individually as well as to the needs of the church today. But, do not forget, that this letter were sent to a real, active church.

Illustration – Ephesus, “the Vanity Fair Of Asia”, “The Supreme Metropolis of Asia.”. Famous 3 ways: 1. Religion: The temple of Diana; 7th wonder of world; bank; art; sin; 2. Commercially: Port city; Military city, industrial city; 3. Politically: A free city, self rule.

It was here (Ephesus) that Apostle Paul founded the church in Ephesus, Acts 18. He spent 3 years here preaching and training the people; Apollos preached here, Aquila and Priscilla ministered here; pastored by Timothy and later by John himself. A church greatly blessed by much spiritual light. Yet, they were a church with a problem. Jesus Christ came to them and diagnosed them as cold and fallen. Verse 1 identifies the speaker as Jesus. he is walking in His church seeing and judging. We are reminded that He is in full control.

Let’s listen in as Jesus gives them the cure for the common cold.

I. v.1-3 THE FAITHFUL (F) WORKS OF THE CHURCH

A. v.1-2a THEY WERE STANDING UP TO THE TASK

– (Ill. A busy church!) (Ill. Works – what they should be!) (Ill. Labor – Work to the point of pain – involved personal sacrifice) (Patience – endurance. Opposition did not affect them).

B. v.2b THEY WERE STANDING UP FOR THE TRUTH

– (Ill. Fundamental)
1. They hated moral evil – Practiced separation – Rom 16:17; 2Thes. 3:6. (Ill. Corinth – 1 Cor. 5:11-13)
2. They hated ministerial evil – Put preachers to the test! (Ill. 12 apostles – Ill. authenticating miracles – tongues, healing, etc.) (Ill. V. 6 – Nicolaitians – 2 Views: 1. A priestly sect 2. Followers of Nicolas – who taught that to know what sin was about, you had to experience it – a Gnostic cult.

C. v.3 THEY WERE STANDING IN THE TEST

– They persevered in the face of opposition. Gal. 6:9 Obedient and active on the surface, but internally, they were a sick people. They were afflicted by THE COMMON COLD.  Notice:

II. v.4-5a THE FATAL (F) WEAKNESS OF THE CHURCH

A. v.4 THE VITALITY (V) OF THEIR PASSION WAS GONE

– They were a saved and a serving people, but their motives for service were wrong. (Ill. Prestige, position, reputation, duty, fear – Note, AGAPE Love is the only worthwhile motive!)
1. They had lost the honeymoon love – (Ill. 2 Cor. 11:2) (Ill. Remember salvation? The excitement? Where is it now?).
2. Like Martha, they were so busy they had no time for Jesus.
3. Lack of love is plain to see. It manifests itself in several ways.
Enthusiasm, attendance, Joy, witnessing, praise, study, prayer – all suffer when you have a cold toward the Lord! (Ill. Actually, it is a back-slidden state!)

B. v.5a THE VALIDITY (V) OF THEIR PROFESSION WAS GONE

– Jesus declares they they have fallen. They lack that closeness to Him they once had. Outwardly, they looked impressive, but inwardly, their works were fake. They came from a wrong and warped motive! (Ill. Shields – 1 Kings. 14:25-27)

III. v.5b-7 THE FORCEFUL (F) WARNING TO THE CHURCH

A. v.5b – LOVE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY PARAMOUNT

Jesus says they need to consider four things.
1. Remember – Consider where He brought them from and where they used to be with Him! (Ill. Remember the excitement? The joy? the dreams?)
2. Repent – 1 John 1:9 Get right with God!
3. Repeat – Fall back in love with the Lord and His work! Be motivated by love.
4. Removal – No love for Jesus, no light for Jesus! (1 Cor. 13:1-3). A church or a Christian without love is a false witness! They give a false signal or witness of what Jesus is all about! Jesus will not tolerate a church without love. (Note : The church without love might function, but there will be no testimony, no power, no presence of the Living God!) They might as well be dead and gone! (Ill. See Ephesus today!)

B. v.7 LOVE MUST BE ABSOLUTELY PERSONAL

– Jesus Christ appeals to the individual. We are saved one by one and we will be restored one by one! To love the Lord and the Lord’s work is a personal decision and a personal choice to love others as the Lord did to us while we were yet sinners!

Conc:

Is your love what it ought to be? Why do you do what you do? If it isn’t out of love for Jesus, then your motive, regardless of what it is, is absolutely wrong!

Jesus tells them to endure and when it is finished, they will receive blessing from the tree of life that is in heaven. What a blessing! After all He has done for us, how can we not love Him? Do you need a revival of love. Do you need to experience the cure for the all too common cold?

If so, then come to Jesus right now and experience a “new honeymoon” with the Lord.

Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7): Don’t lose your love for God’s truth or His people.

Love (agape) conquers all!

Faith, Hope and Love…the greatest is LOVE! ( 1 Cor 13:13)

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Summary of the lessons we can learn from the instruction God gave each church:

Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7): Don’t lose your love for God’s truth or His people.
Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11): Remain faithful in the face of tribulation and poverty.
Pergamos (Revelation 2:12-17): Resist Satan’s influence, even to death, if necessary.
Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29): Resist false teaching.
Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6): Remain zealous and pure in conduct.
Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13): Persevere and walk through the doors God opens.
Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22): Don’t become lukewarm about God’s way of life.

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