The Ephesus church effectively battled various heresies, for which Christ commends it. However, the members lost sight of the reason, having left their first love.
Ups and downs, blessings and trials, have characterized every era of the church. God's people are always battling something negative between the brief highs.
As High Priest, Christ is putting His people through the paces, tailoring the trials and experiences needed for sanctification and ultimate glorification.
Each of the letters in Revelation 2 and 3 speak of overcoming. By examining those churches, we can understand what we are up against and what we must do.
Christ prepared the members of Smyrna for martyrdom, promising them eternal glory for enduring a relatively short time, looking at things from a hopeful perspective.
Cultural compromise, such as found in Pergamos, brings judgment from Jesus. To those who refuse to compromise their convictions, Christ promises eternal life.
Christ's first letter to the churches focuses on the Ephesians, a people who succeeded in trying the spirits, but in the interim left [their] first love.
We cannot become weary of well-doing, allowing our first love to deteriorate, looking to the world for satisfaction. Here are 8 tests of our love for Christ.
The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 have intrigued Bible students for centuries. Where they simply seven churches in Asia, or do they have more immediate relevance to us today?
John Reid contends that intense struggle is, by design of Almighty God, an integral and necessary part of the overcoming process. Just as fighting to escape its cocoon strengthens the butterfly, our calling requires effort above what the world has to endur. . .
Clyde Finklea, reflecting on Bob Dylan's lyrics in "The Times They Are A-changin'," reminds us that within a few years of Herbert W. Armstrong death, destructive heresies were imported into our previous fellowship by false teachers and ministers.. . .
Kim Myers, lamenting the aftermath of the Presidential election, in which two candidates with extremely high negatives (evidently the best America had to offer) conducted (with the help of a dishonest media) one of the dirtiest campaigns in the history of . . .
Martin Collins, reflecting on the term blessed and blessing, rendered into triviality by the prosperity gospel, cautions us not to be glibly equating God with a magic genie or spiritual automatic pill- dispenser. Material blessings do not necessarily equat. . .
When the end-time signs begin to be fulfilled, the time for long-term spiritual growth will be over. So Jesus commands us, 'Therefore you also be ready.'
Contrary to Protestant understanding, our works emphatically do count - showing or demonstrating (not just telling) that we will be obedient.
Over the last several decades, this world has shown itself to be one in which most people lack commitment, whether it is to their mechanics, their spouses, or their beliefs. Using Christ's exhortations to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, David Maas po. . .
John Ritenbaugh, after a thorough analysis of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, concludes that the seven conditions described (all having a common denominator an admonition to hold fast to something once given, but slipping away- namely the faith o. . .
First love is the purest kind of spiritual love we as humans can demonstrate. It is a love that truly shows one's heart is completely given to God.
The letters in Revelation 2 and 3 are for the end times, shortly before Christ's return. Each emphasizes repentance, overcoming, and judgment according to works.
The letters to the seven churches of Revelation warn of losing our first love, heeding false teachers, compromising God's Truth, and forgetting right doctrine.
John Ritenbaugh tackles the eternal security doctrine, a teaching that militates against good works, something that God had ordained for all of us. Works demonstrate our faith, our response to God's calling and His freely given grace. Reciprocity is always. . .
Zeal is characterized as ardent, passionate, energetic, or being on fire. Jesus Christ exemplified this kind of zeal as He drove the moneychangers from the Temple.
David Grabbe, reminding us that the Days of Unleavened Bread are about leaving one venue (sin and Satan) and moving toward deliverance, warns us that as we leave sin, we do not want to leave our first love, as did the Ephesus congregation as recorded in Re. . .
God uses calamities as part of His creative process. Like Jacob, who initially succumbed to weak faith and fear, we must repent of our loss of devotion to God.
Just as important as follow-through is in an athletic motion, its spiritual counterpart is vital to our life in Christ. We must have the will and commitment to carry our devotion to God through to the very end.
God promises certain Christians that He will keep them from the Tribulation—the "hour of trial." Here are the characteristics of those whom God will protect.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that biblical history substantiates that God does not always have the church perform the same functions continually, but sometimes drastically alters the course according to needs and conditions. The perceived detours are necessa. . .
Martin Collins, by way of introductory comments to his sermon-series on the history of the true Church, reminds us that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. God's people have an obligation to acquire, safeguard, and transmit the h. . .
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessnes. . .
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