True New Testament Revival: Getting Back to Our First Love, Part 3 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #281)
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
TEXT: Revelation 2:1-7:
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Brad Lambert said, “One of the greatest dangers in the Christian life is losing interest in what is familiar.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “If you’re not walking in holiness, you’re not walking where God wants you to walk. You must realize that the very nature of God can be ours.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The Puritan view of the state as the protector of the church still governed politics in New England. As a result, the Connecticut State Assembly routinely set aside various days throughout the year for special religious activities. One of those days was the “Annual State Fast” conducted each spring, when churches conducted special services. The Bridgewater church looked forward to the fast day as a time to show off their new, celebrated minister, but Evangelist Asahel Nettleton knew he was coming to a problem church that needed to get right with God before it could have a significant impact on its community.”
Today, we return to the letter that Jesus Christ wrote to the Church at Ephesus. He began with a few words of commendation about their behavior — especially their hard work and their patience. The third positive trait of this church was that they did not tolerate false teachers. Jesus says, “I know how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars…”
Even back in the first century, there were opportunistic individuals who thought they could gain influence by parading as apostles and great spiritual leaders. These people would come into the church, pretending to be followers of Christ, when, in reality, they were devils disguised as angels of light.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “The Ephesian church was made up of a separated people, for they carefully examined the visiting ministers to see if they were genuine. Paul had warned the Ephesian elders that false teachers would come in from the outside and even arise from within the church, and John had instructed them to ‘try the spirits.’ Indeed, Satan has his false ministers and the church must be constantly alert to detect them and reject them.”
How were the Ephesian believers able to detect and reject these imposters? Jesus said that they “tried them” and “found them” to be liars. The Greek word for try means to make a trial of; to test for the purpose of ascertaining a person’s quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself. That is what the Ephesian believers did when someone claiming to be an apostle showed up. They compared their words with Jesus’ words; they compared their actions with Jesus’ actions; they compared their teachings with Jesus’ teachings. If a person didn’t line up with Jesus, they rejected them as an apostle and teacher.
We must not get won over by personality, accolades, eloquence, wealth, or education. Just because a person has all of these things does not make them qualified to serve as a minister of God. If God has not called them, and if they are not preaching what is in the Bible, the church must reject them. What good is it if they can attract a crowd if they are not giving the crowd the truth of the Gospel? The church today must pray for wisdom and discernment so that it won’t be fooled by false teachers whom the Bible predicts will arise in the last days and have already arisen in our day.
Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.