We Shall Overcome
David Alley begins his message with a brief overview of the history of the Roman Empire. The book of Revelation would have been a great source of comfort to the early church, which was suffering great persecution at the hands of the Romans, says David. He then reads Revelation Chapter 1, as an introduction to the first of the letters written to the seven churches by the Apostle John while in exile on the island of Patmos.
The letter to the church at Ephesus was unique in that Ephesus was the home of John prior to his exile, and therefore his home church. David outlines the pattern of the letters: opening phrase, words of commendation, words of rebuke and then the closing phrase. In examining the words of rebuke directed towards the Ephesians – having forsaken their first love – David proposes that the first love they had forsaken was not so much love for God as love for the brethren and for the lost. Of course, love for the brethren and the lost also reflects love for God.
Today’s church, says David, must overcome apathy and lack of motivation to pray. With the benefits of history, we can, says David, overcome.