When reading the book of Acts and epistles we get the impression of a church under much pressure from within and from without, but a church still walking in victory, and still vibrant with the life and power of the One who had purchased [her] ‘with his own blood’ (Acts 20:28).

Here, in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, we are shown that something has been lost. These, once actual, ‘churches’ are no more - their lampstands have been removed! They remain with us in Scriptures as examples of typical churches which we see around us and a warning to each of us to consider Paul's words "If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" 1 Corinthians 10:12. Remember your first love, do not be afraid, be faithful, repent, walk with Jesus, hold on to what you have, buy gold from Jesus.

In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus spoke of entering through a narrow gate. Suggests effort and persistence required to find it. Look again and you will see that Jesus spoke about the narrow gate in the context of (persistently) asking, seeking, knocking (Matthew 7:7-8). We are not saved by our own effort (Ephesians 2:8) but I strive to take hold of that for which Christ lay hold of me (Phillipians 3:12).