And so it begins. The first of the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation. The Letter to the church in Ephesus. Jesus had some good things to say to them. And some bad things. But then another positive statement. The Ephesian church certainly wasn’t in the worst condition of the seven. But then, it wasn’t the best either. So there’s plenty to look at. Both for the church in Ephesus at the time and for us today.
Living as Children of Light
How did Christianity get to be like this? You ask, Like what? Let me answer, initially, with a hint, rather than a direct answer. Some think one of the worst things to happen to Christianity was when Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. As history is showing, that’s more significant that most people probably realize. The parallels to what’s going on in the U.S. today are incredible.
Historians now debate whether “the first Christian emperor” was a Christian at all. Some think him an unprincipled power seeker. What religion he had, many argue, was at best a blend of paganism and Christianity for purely political purposes.
The problem of too much freedom – how to compromise.
Let’s take just two issues and see what happens with compromising when there’s too much freedom. When I say “too much freedom”, I mean when we pretty much start from scratch, which is what’s going on in this Seattle autonomous zone. And probably in most situations like it. Well, except for the reality that we never really start from scratch.
And so it begins. The first of the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation. The one to the church in Ephesus. Jesus had some good things to say to them. And some bad things. But then another positive statement. The Ephesian church certainly wasn’t in the worst condition of the seven. But then, it wasn’t the best either. So there’s plenty to look at.
The title – The letter to the loveless church in Ephesus – is taken from the section titles in two different translations. I chose to do that because I think it gives a a direction to start with while examining this letter. Not that it’s the only direction. But it’s one that people who did the New King James Version thought was important enough to include, as opposed to the NIV usage of just the location in their section title.
She doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t really want to have an abortion. But doesn’t know what else to do, because the Christians are screaming at her to not have the abortion. But then if she has the baby, she also knows those many of those same Christians have, under the name of their political party, made it pretty much impossible for her to support the child. And, few of them will offer any kind of help.
Tell me. Who all sinned in that scenario?
Don’t procrastinate. Maybe you’re still asking, why not procrastinate? Even if we never do the thing God’s asking us to do, won’t He have a Plan B? Won’t He have someone else do it instead? But that’s missing the point. It was a task we were created to do. For the One who created us.
Let me create a picture for you, then explain it. Remember the image at the top of the page? It was a burned out light bulb, trying to get someone’s attention. Trying to say it needs to be replaced.
Now, let’s say that light bulb represents the Holy Spirit in us. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit will be trying to get our attention before it goes out. But if it does go out, we’re in trouble. If it goes out, if the Holy Spirit is no longer in us, then we’ve done what Jesus warned us about in the following passage from Luke’s gospel.