給你教會的一封信/A letter to your church
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作者:柯立天牧師(正道福音神學院)

Written by Dr. Richard Cook



On our sixth day in Turkey, we visited Ephesus. It was a thriving city serving as a key port in the Roman Empire. Ephesus was also home of a prominent church established by Paul (Acts 19). Given its illustrious history, I hoped to find in Ephesus a thriving city guided by biblical principles and an influential church. Today, however, the site is only cherished ancient ruins. The city is gone. The church is gone.



The church I attended near Chicago was planted in a store front, moved to a high school auditorium, and then built a massive sanctuary. The church continued to grow and soon needed three services on Sunday. What will remain of this church in 50 years? If I can go back in 100 years, will I find a thriving community guided by biblical principles and an influential church? What happens when churches die?



Visiting Ephesus was a stark reminder to me of the true meaning of church. Church buildings may be destroyed and entire cities may disappear, but the church is a living organism. The church, as expounded in Ephesians, is a community where God is experienced. It is a building of people, an outpost planted as a colony in a dark world. The church is infused with God’s power to transform lives, families, and communities. The mystery is that we, all peoples, are fused together with Israel, sharing in the promise of Christ Jesus. The church in Ephesus may be gone, but it is thriving in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
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