PROPHECY HEADLINES: War rages in eastern Ukraine after peace talks fail | Outgoing U.S. defense secretary says ground troops may be necessary against ISIS | ISIS admits defeat in Kobani but says it will attack again | Egypt’s president: Country faces ‘long, difficult, evil’ battle with Islamists | Israeli air force commander: ‘We may send warplanes to Tehran tomorrow’
The Bible says in Matthew 24:32-33: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
PROPHECY BOOTCAMP: “Judgment Begins at the House of God” (Part 4) from Dr. Ed Hindson’s book “Revelation: Unlocking the Future”.
This section is titled: EPHESUS: THE PREOCCUPIED CHURCH (PART 2)
The apostle Paul visited Ephesus at the end of his second missionary journey in about AD 51. Aquila and Priscilla assisted Paul there and influenced Apollos. On his third missionary journey, Paul returned to Ephesus and ministered there for three years. Paul later left Timothy in charge of the church at Ephesus. In about AD 60, Paul wrote the epistle to the Ephesians from prison in Rome. In AD 66, the apostle John arrived and stayed some 30 years.
The Ephesian church was one of the great apostolic churches. The Lord commends them for their labor, patience, fidelity, and endurance. They had stood true to the faith despite their pagan surroundings. The constant lure of temptation was all around them, but they remained true to Christ. “But I have this against you,” He said, “that you have left your first love.”
The church’s “first love” could refer to several things: its love for Christ, the fervency of new believers, or the basic priorities of the church. As time had passed, their love had diminished. Their church was filled with other priorities. The basics of Christian living were being neglected. So the Lord of the Church calls them back to their original commitment to those basic principles.
The glorified Savior challenged the Ephesians to remember their original position in Christ — seated in heavenly places. Then He calls upon them to repent and reinstate their original commitments. Otherwise, He threatens to come and remove their lampstand. This indicates that any church can cease being a true church. Once the light of the gospel goes out, it ceases to be the “light of the world.”
OCCUPY TILL I COME: “Waiting on the Second Coming — Living Like a Christian (Part 6)” by Ray C. Stedman
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Soon and Very Soon” by Andrae Crouch