Ephesus Church - Turkey
In Miletus during his final journey to Jerusalem, Apostle Paul sought to meet with the elders of the church in Ephesus. When Ephesus' church elders arrived, Paul warned them:
"For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch..." (Acts 20:29-31)
A few decades after this warning to the Ephesus' church leaders, Revelation attests to Jesus commending the church of Ephesus for having heeded the warning about false teachers but warning in turn that unless they repent and return to loving God as they first did, the lampstand - church - will be taken from them (Revelation 2:1-5):
“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.’"
They failed to heed Jesus, who made good on His words. The weed-covered desolation above of Odeum, the smaller theater of Ephesus, symbolizes the state of Christianity today in Turkey, where Ephesus is located. Turkey, once the heartland of Paul's ministry to Asia Minor, is 99% Muslim and devoid of Bible-based Christianity today. That's too bad for Turkey, but can the same thing happen to Europe or North America?
Europe is already a spiritual wasteland where Bible-believing Christians are a miniscule percentage of the population. North America, meanwhile, has mixed materialism and self-help psychology with the Bible to concoct a deviant form of Christianity that sees God not as God to worship and serve but a genie who produces health and wealth on demand. Savage wolves indeed have ransacked the flock and spoken perverse things to draw away the disciples.
Please take another look at the photo above. That's what happened to a church that didn't return to its first love but did manage to keep out false apostles. What do you think will happen to churches that can't do either? The lampstand already is being removed from North America, and unless we repent and return to our first love, Christ - Word of God - we will not be spared the weed-covered desolation above.
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