“The Church of Ephesus”
John is asked to write a letter to seven churches, giving them encouragements, blessings, and condemnations. These are areas we all must carefully and seriously examine in our own church to see if we are doing our best for His highest! The letter is a clear proclamation of the sovereignty and eminence of Christ who stands in authority and judgment to show that He is in charge, that He does care, and that we need to get aligned with His will or else suffer the consequences. His Church is His Church; it does not belong to us even though we are the Church in unity and being. We belong to Him with a distinction and a purpose we must heed, take to heart, and practice to the best of our abilities and endeavors.
The church in Ephesus was both good and bad. They were doing some good because of their endurance in persecution. They did not tolerate false teaching or those with bad agendas that were contrary to God’s precepts. They were doing so well, most people in their busy-ness who would go to a church like this might not have noticed anything was missing. Or, perhaps they would be the victim of the ugly that happens when a key component of doing Church is left out. They had discernment, but had trouble with loving. They lost the most important thing about being in Christ—the Fruit of His Love flowing through us so it touches others. No amount of sacrifice or good teaching can make up for a lack of love! People see Christ by how we exhibit character and love, and this church was not doing that. Then, Jesus passionately challenged them to get back to Him, get back to loving. To solidify His point and the importance of love, He warned them that if they refused to love, they would be refusing Him, and that they would be judged for it.
The purpose here in these two chapters of Revelation is to show us how the leadership of these churches function from God’s view, so to give us a heads up where and what we are to focus on. Jesus reprimands what we do wrong and compliments what we do right. Revelation also gives instructions to the seven churches. How to lean and mange a church in the good times and in crises and Who or what will we be loyal too?