Sunday, November 3, 2019

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.”

No comments: