A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
In our series of homilies from the book of Ephesians, we focused on reviving Christian families. Now, I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages from the book of Revelation, specifically targeted at reviving the church. If our country is to be awakened, the family and the church must be revived first.
TEXT: Revelation 2:1-7:
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
William Penn said, “[The church is] inclined to call things by the wrong names. We call prosperity ‘happiness’ and adversity ‘misery’ even though adversity is the school of wisdom and often the way to happiness.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Holiness is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. If you’re not holy, you’ll never make it to heaven.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Most preachers would long to have such influence in their preaching, but in the midst of an effective ministry, Robert Haldane left the place of his influence. Just as Philip left the thriving revival in Samaria to preach the gospel to one Ethiopian eunuch (see Acts 8:4-8, 25-40), so Robert Haldane left his revivalistic ministry in Scotland to investigate the possibilities of ministry on the European continent. In doing so, he became the instrument God used to achieve “Geneva’s Second Reformation.””
Jesus has told the Ephesian church that if they do not remember, repent, and repeat the first works, He ‘will come unto them quickly, and remove their candlestick out of its place.’ We have learned that this removal of the candlestick is a judgment of God. As the Bible says, ‘Judgment must begin at the house of God.’ If the church is not doing what it is supposed to do, Jesus is going to judge and discipline His people before He judges the world. The judgment for churches that do not return to their first love is that their ‘light’ will be put out and they will no longer be considered a church of Jesus Christ.
How many churches are losing their light, losing their testimony, and losing their effectiveness because they have lost their first love for Jesus and for the things of God? Unfortunately, statistics show that there are many. Numerous Christian denominations in America today are lamenting the decline of their churches. The cause of this decline is not, as some might think, bad outreach strategy or bad organization but simply the fact that those in the church have lost their first love for Jesus Christ, are no longer doing the first works that they used to do, and are no longer preaching the Gospel and the plain teaching of Scripture as it was once delivered to the saints. You might be surprised, but statistics actually bear this out.
According to data that has being published in the Review of Religious Research, churches that hold to traditional Christian beliefs and that are more diligent in practices such as prayer, Bible reading, and the application of the word of God to everyday life are GROWING. So-called “mainline” churches that do not hold to these practices as much are DECLINING.
Further, among declining churches, only 19% of PASTORS read their Bibles every day, only 50% believe it is “very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians,” and only 56% agree that “Jesus rose from the dead with a real, flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb.” Whereas among growing churches, 71% of pastors read their Bibles every day, 93% of pastors agree that “Jesus rose from the dead with a real, flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb,” and 100% believe it is “very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians.”
Similar numbers are carried out across the board in England, in Europe, and in Canada. Such numbers clearly show that churches that have abandoned their first love and that no longer do the first works are slowly losing their light. Their candlesticks are being snuffed out as they no longer have a valid witness for Jesus Christ in their communities. Each of us as individual believers ought to personally remember, repent, and repeat the first works so that we can save our local churches from a similar fate.
Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Revival Prayer List
PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
for her family and for her son to do well in his MBBS his 2nd year in Ukraine
for Your Holy Ghost anointing on all her family members (her brother, sister, and widow mother) and her staff
for their ministry to increase
please save all of the children and grant them admission at their school
please provide for their compassion fund and renewal on January 16
please provide for their NGO finance problem
— Wulikey in AIkeja, Lagos State, Nigeria, West Africa
Please bless his family and church with Bibles and Christian books
— Daphne in Nassau, Bahamas
Please heal her son Jerred Russell
Help him to get his job back
Help her to succeed in her career, help her children to succeed in academics, strengthen her prayer life, and help her husband to accept You into his heart
PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS
Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Leaders of the Southern Baptist Church
Beth Ann Higgs
PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS
1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
IDAHO STATE LEGISLATURE
Phylis K. King
Thomas F. Loertscher
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.