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.
Gilbert Tennent said, “I am verily persuaded that the generality of preachers talk of an unknown and unfelt Christ; and the reason why congregations have been so dead is because they have had dead men preaching to them.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The Romans weren’t the only ones who put Jesus to death. I put Him to death; you put Him to death; and professing Christians put Him to death over and over and over again these days with careless living.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “When Robert Haldane arrived in Geneva, he learned that one of the two pastors was no longer in town. The other was preaching the gospel faithfully and didn’t need the Scottish preacher’s assistance. They had warm fellowship together, but the door to ministry was apparently closed. Meanwhile, a small prayer meeting in the nearby village of Montauban had been asking God for spiritual leadership since their founder, Madame Krudener, had left. The group members considered Haldane the answer to their prayer. Convinced he wouldn’t have a ministry in Geneva, he decided to leave the city to minister among the prayer group.”
In the conclusion of His letter to the church at Ephesus, Jesus makes an appeal directly to individual believers. As much as we think of our churches as a single unit — and we should — each church is made up of individuals. It is the individual believers who have lost their first love or otherwise gone astray. To such believers, Jesus appeals: “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “Revelation 2:7 makes it clear that individual believers within the church may be true to the Lord, no matter what others may do. In these seven messages, the ‘overcomers’ are not a ‘spiritual elite,’ but rather the true believers whose faith has given them the victory.”
Every believer will be held accountable for his or her own heart and actions. You, as a Christian, can hear the words of Jesus’ letter to the Ephesian church and choose to obey them. You can get back to your first love and begin doing the first works. In order for a church to be changed and revived, individual believers in that church must change and be revived. No longer can we wait on a pastor or on a revival speaker to get everyone back to their first love. No longer can we wait on a conference or a special evangelistic campaign. If the pastor is anointed and revived, we cannot assume that his anointing and revived spirit will trickle down to the people.
The changes that Jesus is calling for the church to make in this letter and in all seven letters of Revelation can only be made by individual Christians. Of course, it is ideal for all members of a church body to make these changes together. That is what we pray for and that is what we ought to desire. But, “he that has an ear to hear” must respond. Today is the day of repentance. Now is the time for us to get back to our first love. If we do not hear and obey, we will not be overcomers in this life.
One songwriter put it this way:
Listen, obey, and be blessed
When you hear God’s will expressed.
Listen, obey, and be blessed,
If you would be happy and enter his rest.
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.”
Please provide Kylie with a feeding tube and personal care, heal her of skin lesions and migraines;
please provide for them to leave their house and give them direction and support; please provide them with enough money to thrive
— Melwert in Ngerulwobl, Airai, Palau
Please restore his marriage
— Sibusiso in South Africa
Help him to grow in You and know You more and more
Please help all cyber bullying to stop, help her husband to be a great father and husband, provide them with a good church home
— Jim in Copperbelt Province, Zambia
Please bless him with a good job and help him to go to college
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
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
Caroline Nilsson Troy
John Vander Woude
Rick D. Youngblood
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.