“To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”
To live in Ephesus meant being surrounded by the worship of false gods. The temple to Artemis was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The temple of the Roman emperor Domitian dominated the central part of the city. How was a follower of Jesus to live in a culture that idolized power and false gods and encouraged sexual immorality?
Jesus had told the Ephesian Christians, “Consider how far you have fallen.” In other words, remember what you once had and did and enjoyed with your Lord and Savior.
Jesus called them to repent of their sin, to allow the Spirit of God to soften their hardened hearts and give them a restored heart of love. Then he urged them to “do the things [they] did at first.” In other words, persevere, hold on to the truth, and show love and compassion to one another.
Otherwise, said Jesus, he would remove their lampstand. The Ephesian church would no longer exist. He would do that for the honor of his name.
However, if they would repent and be restored to him, they would be victorious and be able to eat from the tree of life. This promise of Jesus looks forward to his return and the establishment of the new heavens and new earth, eternal life in the paradise of God. The tree of life awaits all who profess faith in Jesus Christ alone, live for him, and share his love with everyone. Come, Lord Jesus.
Almighty God, help me to love you above all, and others as myself. For your glory, Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!