What Happens Next? Revelation 2.1-7, to the church at Ephesus

A Bit of Background Concerning the Church At Ephesus:

  • A thriving metro area at the time of John’s writing.
  • The capital and largest city of Asia (southwest Turkey) the city had a large seaport which made it an influential city of trade.
  • Enjoyed much freedom as a democratically self-run city within the Roman Empire.
  • The city has been described as being wealthy, cultured and corrupt (Summers, 108).
  • Chiefly known as the city which hosted the worship of the goddess Diana, thus it was a hotbed for Asian-influenced dark arts, necromancy, and exorcisms (Hodge, vi).
  • Acts 18-19 highlight Paul’s ministry to the city, staying for 3 years to teach the gospel. Acts mentions a who’s who of sorts of those involved in ministering there. Timothy was later placed in charge of the churches in this area.
  • Church tradition holds that the Apostle John ministered there in his later years and that Mary, the mother of Jesus, passed away in the city as well.
  • The church that was birthed there is thought to be quite large and influential.

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1 Thessalonians Chapter 4

Introduction: Now & Later

When I was a kid, I could always count on my Dad stopping at a convenience store for snacks. ¬†One of my favorites growing up were the Now & Later candies. Apparently they have their name because you’ll enjoy them now and want some more later. I usually just enjoyed mine in the now and didn’t worry much about the later.

Paul combines these two aspect of time in our chapter this week. What we do now impacts the later. How we view the later often impacts what we do now. With this in mind, Paul discusses three important characteristics which believers should embody in the now (1-12) – purity (1-7), love (9-10), and life (11-12). Then, wanting to clear confusion among the church about the later, he speaks about the resurrection and rapture of God’s people (13-18).

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Journey Through John – Chapter 13

Introduction

After my wife and I dated for a bit, I knew she was my lobster. When I finally scraped up enough money to afford an engagement ring, I concocted a plan and set things in motion to perform a proposal that could not be rejected. I must admit that I am not fond of the pressure of a proposal (Especially today. There’s the added stress of a proposal photograph session and/or arranging all your and your wife-to-be’s friends to be present and some exotic local, waiting to celebrate her affirmation to your request.) I planned an evening at the beach followed by a nice dinner in PCB. The evening was to conclude with a candlelit room where I would wash her feet, give her a speech about love and pop the question.

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