BUT I HAVE THIS AGAINST YOU, THAT YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE ( REV. 2:4)
What does Jesus mean when He said to the Ephesians-" But I have this against you , that you have left your first love"?
Before we can answer this Question, first , we have to know the background of the Ephesian church. Ephesus represents the first Apostolic Church. Jesus gave seven words of commendation for this Church ( Rev. 2:3).
Jesus said :
(1) I know your Deeds.
(2) I know your Toil.
(3) I know your Perseverance.
(4) I know that you cannot tolerate Evil Man.
(5) I know you put to the test those who call themselves Apostle, and they are not, and you found them to be false.
(6) You have perseverance and have endured for my name sake.
(7) You have not grown weary.
This is a Church who love Jesus, but after about 66 years, Jesus said to the Church of Ephesus " But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
The Ephesians had lost that intense and enthusiastic Devotion to the person of Jesus Christ. It is difficult for us to sense the state to which the Holy Spirit had brought this Church. He had brought the believers in Ephesus into an intimate and personal relationship to Jesus Christ. He brought them to the place where they could say to the Lord, " WE LOVE YOU". This may seem like a very unimportant thing to us today, but their love for the Lord was very important to Christ. He was saying to the Ephesians, "YOU ARE LEAVING YOUR BEST LOVE". They had not quite departed from that love, but hey were on the way. It is difficult for us in this Cold, Skeptical, Cynical, and Indifferent day in which we live to understand this. The world has intruded into the Church to such an extent that it is hard for us to conceive of the intense, enthusiastic Devotion the early Church gave to the person of Christ. The early Church first went off the track not in their Doctrine but in their personal relationship to Jesus Christ.
Ephesus was a great city, and it had many attractions that were beginning to draw believers away from their first love for Jesus Christ. This was the Church that became so potent in its Evangelism in that area of about Twenty Five Million people hat even the Roman Emperors and the Nobilities of that day had an opportunity to hear the Gospel. In that area there was such a mighty moving of the Spirit of God that it has probably never been duplicated since.
Indeed, that personal relationship with Christ is all - important in our day, also. We are so involved in methods - I am rather amused at some of the Band-Aid courses which are being offered - and they are making Band- Aid Believers. Generally, the Course is some little Legal System that gives you certain Rules to follow and certain Psychological Patterns to observe which will enable you to solve all your Problems. They try to teach you how to get along with yourself, with your neighbors, and especially with your wife. All of these relationships are very important, and a great many People think that if they can follow a few Rules, they will have the key to a successful Christian life. Let me put it in a Nutshell by asking one question: DO YOU LOVE JESUS CHRIST? I do not care what your System is, what your Denomination is, what your Program is, what little set of Rules you follow, they will all come to naught if you do not love Jesus. Although some Systems are better than others, almost any System will work if you love Jesus. An intimate relationship with Christ will make all your relationship and all of your Christian service a joy.
When your Home Life and your Church Life become a Burden, there is something wrong with your relationship with Christ. When you get that strengthened out, other things will strengthen out also.
This is the reason the Lord Jesus said to the Ephesian Believers, " YOU ARE GETTING AWAY FROM YOUR FIRST LOVE,YOUR BEST LOVE". What is the solution for them?
Therefore REMEMBER from where you have fallen, AND REPENT
and do the deeds you did at first, OR ELSE I AM COMING TO YOU
AND WILL REMOVE YOUR LAMPSTAND OUT OF ITS PLACE -
UNLESS YOU REPENT" (REV. 2:5)
"REMEMBER". That is the first thing they were to do. Do you REMEMBER when you were converted? Do you REMEMBER what a thrill it was and what the Lord Jesus meant to you? Have you become cold and indifferent to Jesus?
Are you in a backslidden condition? REMEMBER. REMEMBER where you once were. You can get back to that same place.
" AND REPENT". Believe me, Christians need to repent. We need to break the Shell of self- sufficiency, the Crust of conceit, the Shield of sophistication, the Veneer of vanity, get rid of the false face of" Piosity ", and stop this business of everlastingly polishing our Halo as if we were some great saint. REPENT! Repentance means to turn back to Christ. AND IT IS THE MESSAGE FOR BELIEVERS ONLY. Many Churches today tell an unsaved men to REPENT. What he needs to do is to turn to Christ for salvation . When he turns to Christ, he will turn from his Sin- as the Thessalonians "------TURN TO GOD FROM IDOLS TO SERVE THE LIVING AND TRUE GOD, AND TO WAIT FOR HIS SON FROM HEAVEN------" ( 1 Thess. 1:9-10). YES, ONLY BELIEVERS NEED TO REPENT. REMEMBER, REPENT, AND RETURN UNTO HIM.
"OR ELSE I AM COMING TO YOU AND WILL REMOVE YOUR LAMPSTAND OUT OF ITS PLACE - UNLESS YOU REPENT".
CHRIST SAYS THAT HE WILL REMOVE YOUR LAMPSTAND. Oh, how many Churches in our day have been practically closed. Once the crowds came, but they do not come anymore because the word of God is no longer being taught. Christ is still watching the lamps, and He does not mind trimming the wicks or even using the snuffer when they refuse to give light.
Written by Osmundo S. Sabado
Edited by Orman L. Sabado