The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that in all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will always be less than that of the initial state. The effects of this law can be described in this way: “The Second Law of Thermodynamics describes basic principles familiar in everyday life. It is partially a universal law of decay; the ultimate cause of why everything ultimately falls apart and disintegrates over time. Material things are not eternal. Everything appears to change eventually and chaos increases. Nothing stays as fresh as the day one buys it; clothing becomes faded, threadbare, and ultimately returns to dust.”
Nothing is immune from this law. It is true of the material things we purchase and cling to. Regardless of what we do to protect and care for them, everything will eventually decay (which is one of the reasons Jesus exhorted us not to put our confidence in the things of this world!). Many of us are painfully aware of the effect of this law on our bodies! We may be able to slow down the decay through proper eating habits, exercise, and good health care; but eventually everybody slows down and dies. It is also true of institutions. Every business, university, church, etc. has a life expectancy. Nothing lasts forever. It sounds pretty dismal doesn’t it? I mean, if everything is headed to decay and destruction, why expend energy on anything? The answer is simple: Because some things are worth fighting to preserve. The question then becomes; “What are the most important things in my life? What will I spend my limited energy preserving?”
Sunday we are going to look at Jesus’ message to the Ephesian church in Revelation 2. At the time of the revelation the church is 30-40 years old. It had been blessed with some of the most gifted and godly leadership in the history of Christendom (the apostles Paul and John, as well as other extraordinary church fathers), and it had an impeccable reputation for standing for the truth. Its problem was that decay had crept into the church, and they did not even recognize it! That is the danger of decay. Nothing collapses all at once. The process is so slow that often we rarely notice it happening! For the Ephesians, they had been so busy being and doing the work of the church that they failed to notice that they had stopped loving Jesus. Scary, isn’t it?
Sunday’s message is about the church in Ephesus, but it is for us! If we are willing to look and listen, we will see that there is an inevitable decay taking place in our collective and individual relationships with Jesus. Are we willing to acknowledge it and fight it? These are the treasures in heaven that last and are ours through Jesus. They are worth fighting for. Read Sunday’s passage and ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you need to see.