Living and Loving – Revelation 2:1-7
Factfile: Fred Charrington, reformer, 1850-1936, Tower Hamlets Mission
“How can I say anything to that man seeing I am responsible for their misery?”
Factfile: John. One of Jesus 12 apostles.
Matthew 4:21, “ Going on from there, Jesus saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”
Wrote five books of the bible: The Gospel of John, 1,2 and 3 John, and Revelation.
Tertullian, writing in early 2nd century attributes Revelation to John.
Top tip: EYE-WITNESSES SEE FOR THEMSELF. ACADEMICS SPECULATE
The church in Ephesus is running well but there is a cancer that uncured will kill it.
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands” (Rev.2:1)
The lampstands are the seven churches listed in Revelation 1:11
i) Jesus applauds a busy church.
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.” (Rev.2:2)
ii) Jesus applauds a faithful church.
“I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.” (Rev.2:2)
“You have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolatians, which I also hate.” (Rev.2:6)
TOP TIP: Hate what Jesus hates, and love what Jesus loves.
iii) Jesus applauds an enduring church
“You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” (Rev.2:3)
To ponder: What hardship are you facing in your life for Jesus sake at the moment? If you face none, why not?
2) THE CANCER
“Yet, I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love..” (Rev.2:4)
BAD TRANSLATION: it should read “…you have forsaken the love you had at first.”
You have forsaken the “AGAPE” love you had at first.
“If you do not repent I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Rev.2:5)
3) THE CURE
i) Remember the height from which you have fallen (Rev.2:5)
We cannot save ourselves. Only Jesus can get us into Heaven. We need to rediscover our gratitude.
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
CHALLENGE: Set aside some time later today to remember your conversion and how it felt, and how grateful you felt.
ii) Repent and do the things you did at first. (Revelation 2:5)
Find a new way to live for Jesus where he comes first, and where we show it by how we live.
FACTFILE: The footballer in the photo is former world footballer of the year, Kaka.
i) The Spirit comes to help us.
“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. ” (Galatians 5:22-23)
ii) There’s a prize at the end
“To him who overcomes I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. ” (Revelation 2:7)
What story will your life tell? Give up or finish the race?
I want to know more:
- Fred Charrington, www.towerhamletsmission.org/history.html
- John, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Apostle
- To read: Finishing Strong by Steve Farrar
- To read: The Four Loves by CS Lewis
- To listen: Living and Loving, Paul Mallard: