Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Church of Ephesus - Part 3 - Dearly Beloved

Temple Baptist Church - 11-10-2019
Revelation 2:1-7


A.  The message to the Church of Ephesus—Beginning of the Church to A.D. 100. Ephesus represents the Apostolic Church.

B.  Ephesus means desirable. I call it “Dearly Beloved” because it was everything that the Lord wanted a local church to be.  It was the early church with all the zeal of its first love, burning for Christ.

C.  This church started out with a great love for Christ and a burning desire to see souls saved, but toward the end of the first century she left her first love and began to cool off.

D.  The Description of The Church:

1.  Prophetically, it was the Apostolic Church of the First Century.

2.  Perennially, it was the Fundamental Church.

3.  Parabolically, it was the Sowing Church.

4.  Practically, it was the Drifting Church.

E.  Let us look at what Revelation said to the Church of Ephesus.

1.  The Companion of the Church of Ephesus.  (2:1)

a.  The Companion’s Power – “He holdeth the seven stars in His right hand”

Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

b.  The Companion’s Presence – “who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks”

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

2.  The Commendation of The Church. (2:2-3)

a.  A dynamic church   (2:2) ("works") – What they do.

b.  A dedicated church (2:2) ("labour") – How they do it.

c.  A dogmatic church (2:2)  ("patience") – How they continue it.

d.  A discerning church (2:2) ("found them liars") – How they observe it.

e.  A disciplining church (2:2) ("tried them") – How they prove it.

f.  A determined church (2:3) (not fainted") – How they perceive it.

3.  The Condemnation of The Church. (2:4)

          a.  Program Without Compassion.  Upon the lost.

Ephesians 3:17-19  tThat Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  (18)  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  (19)  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

          b.  Love Without Passion.  Toward the Savior.

Ephesians 6:24  Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. To the Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.

4.  The Charge of The Church. (2:5a)

a.  Remember

b.  Repent

c.  Repeat

5.  The Consequence of The Church. (2:5b)

a.  The Church Disciplined (Heb 12:5-8) ("come ...quickly")

b.  The Church Disapproved (I Cor 9:27) ("remove...candlestick")

6.  The Controversy of The Church. (2:6)

a.  Doctrinal Error Incurred ("thou hast")  Deeds of Nicolaitans ("to conquer the people")

b.  Doctrinal Error Detested

7.  The Conclusion of The Church. (2:7)

Christian Love

Temple Baptist Church - 11-10-2019
1 John 4:7-21


A.  The Book of 1 John was written to “my little children.”  Those who are the “sons of God” as shown in chapter 3, verse 1-2.

B.  The greatest love ever known was when God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sin.  John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  

C.  The greatest love ever shown is charity: a sign of true conversion.  I am not talking about love in a general sense because lost people can love. 

Romans 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

D.  In 1 John 2:8, we see that when the darkness of a lost soul comes to end through the light of God’s salvation, this love of God that caused Him to die for the sin of the world is manifested in the new believer.

E.  The love of God causes the child of God to love the things that the world does not love.  I am talking about love in a spiritual realm: 

1.  Love for God: the world has no love for God.  They only try to use God!

2.  Love for the word of God:  the world has no love for the bible.  They will not read it or come to hear it being preached.

3.  Love for the local church:  the world has no love for the local church or they would be in church tonight.  They only use it to either soothe their conscience or get something from it.

4.  Love for the children of God:  the world has no love for God’s people.  They may like and respect us but, if they loved us, they would want to be around us corporately.

5.  Love for the lost:  the world has no love for drunks, drug addicts, rapists, murderers, thieves, etc.  We go out into the highways and hedges inviting them to come and sit in church with us and our children!

F.  The greatest gift that remains is charity:  brotherly love.

1 Corinthians 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.  (Faith and hope are inward and God-ward, Charity is OUTWARD.)

1.  It is a visible love - John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  (35)  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

2.  It is a sacrificial love - John 15:12-14  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  (13)  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  (14)  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

3.  It is an initiated love - 1 John 4:10-11  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  (11)  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

4.  It is a pure love - 1 Peter 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

5.  It is a fervent love - 1 Peter 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

6.  It is an abounding love - 1 Thessalonians 3:12  And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

7.  It is a serving love - Galatians 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

8.  It is an overlooking love - 1 Peter 3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Church of Ephesus - Part 2 - Dearly Beloved

Temple Baptist Church - 11-3-2019
Revelation 2:1


A.  This morning, we looked at the Parabolic Interpretation of the Church of Ephesus.

B.  Tonight, I want to look at the Prophetic Interpretation of the Church of Ephesus.

C.  The Apostolic Church age was from 30 to 100 A.D or the first century A.D.

I.  The Prophetic Interpretation.  The Post-Apostolic Age.

a.  The History of Ephesus.  Ephesos – “desirable” or “Beloved”

1.  The capital of the Roman province of Asia, and an illustrious city in the district of Ionia, nearly opposite the island of Samos. 

2.  Conspicuous at the head of the harbor of Ephesus was the great temple of Diana or Artemis.  The temple seated app. 50,ooo people.

3.  The earlier temple, which had been begun before the Persian war, was burnt down in the night when Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C.; and another structure, raise by the enthusiastic co-operation of all the inhabitants of "Asia," had taken its place.

4.  Ephesus was a very sinful, idolatrous city in Paul’s day.  No one could be charged or punished for any crime within the city, therefore, it was rampant with sin.

Acts 19:21-35  After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.  (22)  So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.  (23)  And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.  (24)  For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;  (25)  Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.  (26)  Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:  (27)  So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.  (28)  And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.  (29)  And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.  (30)  And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.  (31)  And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.  (32)  Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.  (33)  And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.  (34)  But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.  (35)  And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?

5.  Paul referenced the wickedness at Ephesus:

1 Corinthians 15:32  If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

Ephesians 6:10-13  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  (11)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  (12)  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  (13)  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

b.  The Church of Ephesus.

1.  Paul’s first missionary journey To Ephesus.  This is the first mention of Ephesus found in the Bible.  54 A.D.

Acts 18:18-19  And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.  (19)  And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.

2.  Paul’s second missionary journey to Ephesus where he meets the disciples of John the Baptist.  55 A.D.

Acts 19:1-8  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,  (2)  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  (3)  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.  (4)  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  (5)  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  (6)  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.  (7)  And all the men were about twelve.  (8)  And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.

3.  Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to maintain sound doctrine.  65 A.D.

1 Timothy 1:3-4  As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,  (4)  Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.  (False teachers soon arose to destroy sound doctrine in Ephesus.)

4.  Apostasy referenced by Paul in 2 Timothy one year later.  66 A.D.

2 Timothy 1:15  This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

5.  Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus.  66 A.D.

2 Timothy 4:12  And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

6.  The Church of Ephesus became a thriving local church in a wicked place but spiritual decline was already progressing in the days of the apostles.  Therefore, Ephesus represents the Post-Apostolic Age.

c.  The Apostolic Church History.

1.  The Times of Christ.  4 B.C. – 30 A.D.

a.  4 B.C. - Born during the reign of Caesar Augustus in Bethlehem/Judah.

b.  4 B.C.-27 A.D. - Raised in Nazareth in a carpenter’s home.

c.  27 A.D. – John the Baptist began his public ministry.

d.  27 A.D. – Jesus begins His public ministry.

c.  30 A.D. - Christ crucified, buried, and resurrected.

2.  The Apostolic Church Age.  30 A.D. – 100 A.D.

a.  30 A.D. – Christ died, buried, and resurrected.

b.  30 A.D. – Pentecost in Acts, chapter 2.  Great revival and the birth of the Church at Jerusalem.

c.  35 A.D. – Stephen martyred (Acts 7:54-60), and Paul converted (Acts 9:1-6).

d.  44 A.D. – James killed with a sword (Acts 12:1-2).  The first of the Apostles to be martyred.  James the greater (Jacobus major), the brother of John, one of the first 3 disciples as distinguished from John the less (Jacobus minor), the brother of Joses.     

Matthew 20:21-23  And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.  (22)  But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.  (23)  And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

e.  46 A.D. – Paul begins his missionary journeys.

f.  46 A.D. – the first council at Jerusalem (Acts 15).

g.  64 A.D. – Rome burns, and Nero launches great persecutions.

h.  65 A.D. – Paul writes his last book, 2 Timothy, just prior to his death.

i.  63-67 A.D. – Paul and Peter are martyred.  All the apostles, except for John the Beloved, died between 63 A.D. and 67 A.D. according to tradition.

j.  70 A.D. – Titus of Rome destroys Jerusalem and the Zerubbabel’s Temple.  App. 1.5-3 million Jews are killed.

k.  96 A.D. – John is given the Revelation while exiled on the Isle of Patmos.

3.  The Persecution of the Apostolic Age.

a.  Persecution of Christians was both ecclesiastical and political during this period.

1)  Ecclesiastical – Jews persecuted Christians during the infancy of the church in Jerusalem.

2)  Political – organized persecution began in the reign of Nero (54-68 A.D.) from the Roman state.  Nero blamed Christians for the fire in Rome in 64 A.D..  These persecutions were local and sporadic until 250 A.D. when they became general and violent under Decius.

b.  Persecution broke out again in 95 A.D. during the reign of the despotic Domitian.

1)  The Jews had refused to pay a poll tax that had been levied for the support of Capitolinus Jupiter. Because the Christians continued to be associated with the Jews, they also suffered the effects of the emperor’s wrath.

2)  It was during this persecution that the apostle John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation.

II.  The Perennial Interpretation of The Church Age.

1.  Ephesus – The Drifting Church.  Our church must be careful not to drift from out mooring.   

2.  The Warning to the Churches.  Revelation 2:7a  “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches …"

Ephesus, The Sower - Part 1 - Dearly Beloved

Temple Baptist Church - 11-3-2019
Matthew 12:44-13:23

Introduction:  The Parabolic Interpretation of the Church of Ephesus.

A.  Over the next few weeks, I will be preaching through the “Church Age,” Revelation, chapters 2-3, I will be tying the 7 parables of Matthew 13 with the 7 churches of Asia.  You can find in these parables the characteristics of the churches. 

B.  The first church that Revelation, chapter 2, mentions is the Church at Ephesus.

Revelation 2:1-2  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 …

C.  The Church of Ephesus was a fundamental, soul winning church of the Apostolic times.

Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  (19)  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  (20)  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 17:6  And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

D.  The Parabolic Interpretation of the Church of Ephesus, the Apostolic Church, was the “Sower.”

1.  They Sowed Obediently.  “a sower”

2.  They Sowed Purposefully. “went forth to sow”

3.  They Sowed Indiscriminately.  “and when he sowed some fell…wayside…stony places…among thorns…good ground”

4.  They Sowed Consistently:

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

a)  Local Sowing – “Jerusalem, and in all Judaea”

b)  Indiscriminate Sowing – “Samaria”
c)  Worldwide Sowing – “all the world”  “both” (Acts 1:8)

E.  4 types of ground equaled 4 results of their sowing.

1.  The Way-side Hearer - 4, 19  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.”

a.  The Ignorant Hearer.  Too often, this is the fault of the “soul winner.”  One must believe who Jesus is, Almighty God; one must believe what Jesus did, died for our sin—was buried—rose again from the grave; one must understand why Jesus did what He did—men are sinners and cannot save themselves; Jesus Christ and His finished work is the ONLY way to heaven!

b.  The Careless Hearer.  One who does not need God.  Men are responsible for the light which they are given.  To who much is given, much is required.

c.  The Deceived Hearer.  One who thinks that he has plenty of time.  Satan blinds the wayside hearer through the distractions of the world.  The deceived hearer gives no thought to death or eternity.  So many in our day believe in evolution and, therefore, believe that death is their final state with nothing to follow.

2.  The Stoney Ground Hearer - 5-6, 20-21

a.  The Unrepentant Hearer. One who desires to live for self and go to heaven.  I call this “bubble popping religion.”  Just “pray the prayer” and heaven is yours.  No godly sorrow for sin brings about no repentance.  “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.”

b.  The Offended Hearer.  One who is initially excited about the Word of God but, when there is a price to be paid, they fall away.  At the first sign of trouble or persecution, they fall away.  There is a price to be paid for those who come to Christ and conform to Christ.  Word of God does not offend the believer!

3.  The Thorney Ground Hearer - 7, 22

a.  The Worldly Hearer.  One who thinks more of the temporal than the eternal.  Those who are too worldly minded to be of any heavenly good.  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world!

b.  The Self-Centered Hearer.  One who loves his sin more than he loves his God.  People today think that life is all about themselves.  The old say, “My four and no more” dictates where the heart is.

4.  The Good Ground Hearer - 8, 23

a.  Hears the Word of God.  “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

b.  He understands the Word of God.  The gospel is clear in his heart and mind.

c.  He Obeys the Word of God.  The believer then bears fruit in abundance.

Conclusion:  In the first century, The Church of Ephesus, The Apostolic Church, was a working, soul winning church.  “I know thy works, they labour, and they patience.”