The first and the last, who once died but came to life, says this: “I know your tribulation and poverty, but you are rich. I know the slander of those who claim to be Jews and are not, but rather are members of the assembly of Satan.”
“Do not be afraid of anything that you are going to suffer. Indeed, the devil will throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will face an ordeal for ten days. Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor shall not be harmed by the second death.”
“But you are rich.” How I long to hear those words from God about me! “You are rich in My love. You are rich in faithfulness, in endurance, in hope. You are rich.” Imagine the joy you would experience hearing Jesus Christ announce that to you.
Because the thing of it is, these people are being hunted, tortured and murdered. They are being arrested, exiled and denounced. They are, in the eyes of the world, despised, unlucky, weak, marginal, and oppressed. “But you are rich” says the One who sees beyond appearances and into the heart, “But you are rich.”
“Remain faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked; you have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and discovered that they are impostors. Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
Ephesus speaks, and it is the language of the doctrinally orthodox and the spiritually dead. They fell in love with the Risen Lord in the beginning, but somewhere along the way, they lost their love and thought themselves holy because they believed all of the right things, and didn’t sin too much, but missed the most important thing of all: Jesus Christ.