By the time this issue arrives in subscribers’ mailboxes I’ll be on the Mediterranean. My wife and I will revisit some of the cities where Paul preached and the sites of the seven churches of the Apocalypse.

I never fail to thrill at the ruins of Ephesus. I can see Paul engaged in spiritual battle with Demetrius, a silversmith, whose statues of Artemis brought him great gain. I can almost see the huge multitudes gathered in the theater shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” But greater was Jesus Christ, the crucified one, for here in Ephesus a church was formed.

I hear the final obituary penned by John in the Revelation as he spoke the words of Jesus: “I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Rev. 2:4). Judgment fell. The church and the city disappeared. All remains are the ruins—an abiding testimony that God removes the lampstand even of churches if they refuse to repent.

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