It wasn’t easy being a Christian in Ephesus, which was a center of pagan idolatry. In fact, when Paul went there to preach the gospel, a riot broke out.
Jesus said to the church of Ephesus, “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” (Revelation 2:4 NLT).
The apostle Paul, and possibly the apostle John, had been pastors of the church of Ephesus. But when Jesus was speaking to this church, they were in the second generation of faith. In other words, they were born to parents who came to Jesus right after His earthly ministry. Therefore, this church was living in the aftermath of the first Jesus Movement.
As it happens sometimes, that wonderful truth was not passed on to the next generation. So they were losing it. They were missing it.
It isn’t always easy to be a Christian in a godless city or state.
I’ve been a pastor in Southern California for almost 50 years, and I know people who have left this state and moved elsewhere. But I feel called to live in California. I feel called to preach the gospel here, to teach the Word of God here, and to be a pastor here.
When someone tells me they’re leaving California, I jokingly reply, “Well, someone has to stay here to turn the lights off.” But the fact is that I’m staying here to turn the lights on.
The psalmist wrote, “Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6 NLT).
The last great American revival took place in California, and it was called the Jesus Movement. I’m praying that we’ll have another Jesus Movement because California influences the rest of the nation. I’m praying we’ll have another spiritual awakening—and I hope you’re praying for that too.
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