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Rekindling First Love
By Pastor John

Revelation 2:1-7
1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

This is a letter from Jesus Christ, evaluating the church at Ephesus. Vs. 1. "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:

Christ, who holds the seven stars (the messengers or angels who are preachers of the Church) in His right hand, who walks among the seven golden candlesticks (the Churches of the living Christ);
    Christ, who is the keeper of the candlestick;
    Christ, who lighted their lamps originally;
    Christ, who provides a continuous supply of oil;
    Christ, who trims their wicks and cleans away the soot . . .  knows intimately the condition of that Church, More than anyone else, with X-ray vision, He looked deep into their souls and knew their condition-even as Christ today walks the aisles of this church and peers into each one of our hearts.

Danish philosopher/theologian Soren Kierkegaard said that the vast majority of people think that the preacher is the primary performer and that God is his prompter. The people in the congregation are the critics, who, passing out of the door of the church, declare their opinion on the morning's performance. Perhaps others may reserve their criticism for the dinner table at noon. The truth, said Kierkegaard, is that those in the congregation are the primary performers; the preacher is but the prompter; and God, Christ, is the critic. He is even now examining your performance in worship-the worship of the living God.

The Findings of Christ, Vs. 2-3 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

They work hard and persevere.
They cannot tolerate evil men, whom they have tested and found false.
They have endured hardships in the name of Jesus, and have not grown weary.

Yet, they have forsaken their first love.
1 Corinthians 16:22
22 If anyone does not love the Lord-- a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!

1 Corinthians 16:22
22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (KJV)

That is a very serious rebuke. We are to love the Lord with all of our heart and mind and strength and soul. Christ's great purpose in coming into this world and creating the Church was that He, the heavenly Bridegroom, might take unto Him a wife, one who might love Him as He ought to be loved. For Christ has first poured out His love for us at Calvary.

Christ's advice to Ephesus

Remember
5 Remember the height from which you have fallen!

Repent
Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Remember and repent. Repent, because to have left our first love is the most grievous of sins. Unless we see it for the great crime against the King of Heaven that it is, for the great sin against our heavenly Bridegroom that it is, for the great transgression against our dear Savior that it is, it is indeed fatal to our spiritual life, unless we repent. We must look upon it as the odious, filthy, and heinous thing it really is. We must despise it and cry out to God to take it away from us. Ask Him to cleanse the soot out of the lamp stand and ignite the flame again. By His perfect love, kindle a flame of love in our hearts.

Return
Remember, repent, and return. Return and "do the things you did at first." Christ tells us. Do you remember the first works? Do you remember how eagerly you sought Him in His Word? Do you remember how delighted you were to go to Him in prayer? Do you remember how it was just the natural effervescent of your life to try to speak about Him to others? Perhaps there came a day when you said, "Oh, I can pray as easily in my bed as I can upon my knees." Perhaps you did-for a while. Then the periods of prayer grew shorter and sleep came quicker and soon your prayers evaporated into your dreams.

The Warning of Christ, vs. 5. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

I will remove your lampstand.  The church will cease to exist.

7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.


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