The church of Ephesus was a very rich church, so we can compare it to many of our mega churches of today. Ephesus was the most prominent city in Roman Asia Minor, a religious and commercial city for that part of the world. The Apostle Paul actually founded this church and then would later appoint Timothy as the pastor. Many believe, including me, that John shepherded that church after Timothy. John was living in Ephesus when he was captured and sentenced to death. Most believe by this time that he was the only apostle that remained alive. The rest had most likely been martyred. Jesus first encourages the church and tells them what they are doing right, which is the case for a lot of Christian churches in America and around the world that are doing amazing things for the Lord. However, Jesus puts a but after he tells them that he is with them, and that he is proud of certain things that they are doing as a church for his name’s sake. The Ephesus Church was a very thriving and busy church. I am sure that most had good jobs and were very active in their church and community. Christ praises them for there patience. Basically, they are a determined and motivated church. They were patient in rejecting false teachers who were calling themselves apostles. The church in America could learn something from this church. We ordain everyone who says they feel called to ministry. Ministry is not even a calling in America anymore, it has become a profession. When churches look for pastors, they are more caught up on what seminary did you go to than the preacher’s walk with God. Many are hiring atheist as pastors because even people who don’t believe in the Bible feel that there is great money in being a preacher in America. This was not the case with this church. They rejected false teaching and fake apostles at every turn. You could not just walk in this church and say you were an apostle or a minister of Jordan Wells 12 the gospel and start preaching as is the case in many American churches across the country. God is no longer the caller of ministers; seminary is. The thing that Jesus Christ had against this church was that they got so caught up on membership basically they had caught up in religion, and not relationship. They had lost their passion. You remember the passion you had when you first came to know Christ? Have you lost your fire? Have you forgotten how you first fell in love with Christ? Well, Christ was telling this church that they had lost their fire. I have been a personal witness to this in churches I have ministered at. I have walked in a dead church service with Jesus hanging on a cross as if he were still dead, and the Holy Spirit would say to all discerning believers that Jesus is not on that cross; he is alive with all power. Do not let your walk with God become a job. If you are a Christian that fits into this category, do your first work over like Christ told this church. Rededicate your life to him and ask him to refill you with a double dose of his spirit. Jesus is not dead. He is alive and heaven is an example of this where there is nonstop worship of the lamb. I have heard churches say that there should be no music in church, and that you are not allowed to speak in tongues or make noise. And they wonder why their churches are empty. They wonder why the apostolic church down the street parking lot is full. Jesus Christ made us to be worshipers and to express that with praise. If you are at a church like the one I just described, run as fast as you can to the apostolic church down the street. It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; (Psalm 92:1) Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! (Psalm 105:1–2) Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly! Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre! Living in the Final Chapter 13 For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation. Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. (Psalm 149:1–5) About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly, there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. (Acts 16:25–34) Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Hebrews 13:15)
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