Scripture Focus- Revelation 2:1-7
The image is of Jesus walking among the lampstands evaluating his churches. The church is central to the plan of God. The seven churches in Revelation are historical and timeless.
Ephesus as a city was cosmopolitan, cultured, and corrupt. The Gospel had come there in a powerful way.
Doing what is right does not guarantee faithfulness to your first love.
Jesus commended the church:
They had done right in their service- v2 I know your deeds
They had done right in their sacrifice- I know your labors
They had done right in their steadfastness- I know your endurance
They had done right as a stronghold of truth- You cannot tolerate evil people
All of these are important and the underlying motivation and order of priorities are important.
Departure from your first love is obvious to the Lord.
Jesus- v4 I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first.
Jesus found a great church lacking. Their wellspring of love dried up.
W. Graham Scroggie- When it is the Lord who has something against the church, it is time to tremble, and when that thing is a loss of love, the church should not only tremble, it should fall to its knees.
The Christian life begins in love and grows in love.
Reasons for a departure from the first love- sin, selfishness, taking the things of God for granted
Devotion to your first love must be passionately cultivated.
Jesus offers the solution for when we get off track.
Remember- v5 how far you have fallen
Repent- see things as they really are
Return- do the works you did at first
There is a strong warning in verse 5.
Did they listen? Ephesus as a church does not exist.
4000 churches a year close in the United States. There are 1/2 the number of churches today as there were 100 years ago.
v7 Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give him the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
J.I. Packer- Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place on their own accord.