[Just a point of clarification—Dispensationalists or Dispensational Theology is a religious interpretation of the Bible. It considers Biblical history as divided deliberately by God into defined periods. God judges’ humanity at the end of one period and introduces a new a new one. So the seven churches in Revelation are seen as seven dispensations of time and The Book of Revelation as periods of prophetic. Needless to say, I am not a Dispensationalist.]
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, `These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; “and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place– unless you repent. “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”‘ (Rev 2:1-7 NKJ)
All the churches face a persecution and for one or two that level of persecution is intense. John recognizes their suffering and acknowledges the fact that the Roman system, code word Babylon, is corrupt and very wicked. He encourages them with the revelation of Christ as the Lamb of God and the one who wins the battle and makes everything right in the end. In the meantime, though, John calls the churches to some self-reflection.
The source of light in a lighthouse is the bulb. The lenses around the outside of the magnify the light. Jesus is the light, and the church should be the lens, magnifying the light for all to see. The church at Ephesus was hard working and knew its doctrines and dogmas. They were so hot on being right that nobody was good enough, or even wanted to join. They had lost their desire to shine bright and grow as a community. The danger was that the light could go out.
God’s word to them was simple:
1. Repent and regain your first love—hurry!
2. Listen to what the Spirit is saying.
3. Keep your eyes on the prize—the victory banquet.
We can become so program busy that we forget why we’re here—time to refocus.