About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

Home Page

A Prophetic Warning To An Apostate Church   


In and around 95 A D Jesus spoke some words of warning to the church at Ephesus.  Revelation 2:4 and 5 read as follows:


"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.  Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place."


This prophetic warning to the Ephesian church that had forsaken its first love for Jesus is both historically relevant and presently significant, and here is why. 


Jesus predicted that if the Ephesian believers did not repent and return to their first love for Him, they would lose their  lampstand, which is their church as seen in Revelation 1:20.  In other words, their church would cease to exist if things did not change.  There might well be a shell of a lifeless church remaining, but a shell of a church is not a legitimate New Testament church.  A lamp without a power cord may still be a lamp, but it is useless to the room it is supposed to light.     


The city of Ephesus no longer exists.  Its exact location was probably three kilometres south west of present-day Selcuk, in western Turkey.  Technically speaking, the church at Ephesus is no longer because there is no Ephesus.     


The historical record shows that Christianity became the legal religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century.  In order to make pagans feel at ease in this new religious environment, the church adopted pagan practices.  The mixture of Christianity with paganism corrupted the true church throughout much of the empire, which would have included the church at Ephesus.  A corrupted church, like a lamp without its power cord, either needs to be fixed or thrown out.     


The loss of the true church created a religious vacuum in the region now known as Turkey.  I believe this vacuum was filled by Islam as it spread with all of its military might across that part of the Roman Empire in the seventh century.  That would have devastated the apostate church at Ephesus.  It's my thinking that the corruption of the church led to Islamic domination that brought about the prophetic fulfillment of Revelation 2:4 and 5.          


Jesus' warning to the church at Ephesus is a warning to our western-world church today, which in many respects has lost its love for Jesus and has followed the practice of the fourth-century church by adopting unbiblical cultural practices to make non-Christians feel at ease in church.  History has proven that when church replaces its love for Jesus with culturally unbiblical practices, the church will cease to be.  There might well be a shell of a church remaining, as was seen in history past and is being seen today, but a shell of a church is not a legitimate New Testament church.  A church without the power of the Holy Spirit to light its existence is no church.  Of course, history also shows that there is always a remnant of the real church.  


It is estimated that nine thousand churches in Canada are in the process of becoming extinct, and why?  According to Revelation 2:4 and 5, Jesus does not hang around an apostate church.  This may sound negative for many, but negativity is an element in Biblical prophecy.  That certainly is seen in Revelation 2 and 3.  


Be forewarned.  Jesus is not so insecure that He is afraid to remove Himself from an apostate church.  If He could overthrow the tables of commerce in what He called the House of God (Luke 19:46), He could certainly overthrow today's apostatized church.     


Home Page