EPHESUS Church : The Church That Has Forsaken Its First Love

EPHESUS CHURCH : The Church That Has Forsaken Its First Love

 

 

 

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 : 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. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you : you have forsaken your First Love. Remenber  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. But  you have this in your favor : You hate the practices of Nicolaitans which I also hate.

 

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.

 

 

Revelation  2:1 - 7    

 

 

Ephesus was once one of the centers of  civilization in the New Testament Era. It is located in the Northeastern part of  the Mediterranean Sea  directly South of Smyrna. It was once one of the cities which comprise the Asia minor. There were many wonderful things that happened to Ephesus.  It was known to be the center of many things. It was once a center of commerce in the Roman Empire. It was also once a center of religion. The temple of  goddess Diana was found there. Because of this, it had become the center of immorality for temple prostitutes were part of the worship of Diana. It was also a place were criminal;s found asylum.

The coming of Christianity to Ephesus was recorded in the Book of Acts Chapter 19. When Christianity  arrived in Ephesus, people have witnessed one of the strongest testimonies to the power of the Gospel. Paul had spent two years there. Many great miracles and great conversions happened there during Pauls’s sojourn.  Many sorcerers had forsaken witchcrafts  and burned their witchcraft materials. Famous Christian leaders like Paul, Priscilla, Aquila, Timothy and John were associated with the church at Epheus.  This letter of the Lord in Revelation  came about after forty years since the the church was founded in Ephesus.

The Lord’s Commendation About the Church of Ephesus

The church in Ephesus is a strong church. They are strong in service, very hardworking in doing the works of the ministry. The church is also persevering in the ministry.  The Ephesian church is also strong in separation . They want to remain separated unto God  and they cannot tolerate wickedness. They hate the practice of “Nicolaitans.” “Nicolaitans”  refer to promoting erroneous practices and doctrines.

The  church at Ephesus is also strong in Scripture knowledge. They could discern false doctrines, false teachers and false apostles. They are a biblically sound church. The church at Ephesus is also a steadfast church . They have endured hardships for Christ. They have not grown weary. Seemingly the Ephesian church is a church wherein many committed Christians want to be a part of. But underneath  something was very wrong, the church at Ephesus was experiencing a “heart trouble.”

 The Lord’s Confrontation

The church at Ephesus has forsaken its First Love,  The church has lost its passion for the Lord. Although they are a hardworking and persevering church, separated and doctrinally sound church, the church that is steadfast and have not grown weary, they have lost their passion for Christ.  Their love for the Lord has grown cold. They are doing the works of the ministry merely out of their obligation  rather than a manifestation of burning zeal for the Lord.  Christ is no longer the primary inspiration of everything they do. Christ is no longer the One shining the brightest in their hearts. Many things now have preoccupied their hearts. Christ is no longer standing unrivalled in their hearts. Many things have now preoccupied their minds and have taken away their focus from Christ.   

What is First Love ?

First Love is the thing that matters most in one’s life. The decline of our love for the Lord happens not accidentally but intentionally. It is through the deliberate choices we are making in our Everyday life. Each day of our life, we are making choices to love Him or to forsake Him. This happen though we continue to serve and suffer for the Lord.

Perhaps, sometimes we may be like Martha. We can be so full of cares  about many things yet so careless about our relationship with the Lord.

Sometimes we care so much about how we look, that we invest so much money just to maintain our youthful looks and neglect the works of the Lord.  Sometimes we care so much about our career that we invest so much time and effort to improve our position  that we no longer have any time to meditate on the Word of God or talk to Him in prayer. Sometimes we care so much to please our loved ones that we spend all our resources for them and neglect the resources we should give to the Lord.

What are the signs of  declining love for the Lord ?

When our life has found another center other than Jesus. When our world started revolving around somebody else or something else instead of our world revolving around the Lord. We should guard our heart  and mind just as much as we guard our home.

When we are no longer in the process or just even sincerely desiring to become more like the Lord.

When we are no longer fighting off  or even just watching out for those things that threaten our relationship with the Lord.

What are the things that could threaten our relationship with the Lord ?

We should watch out for the  movies and TV programs we are patronizing. They can influence our personality and our attitudes toward the Lord. We should watch out for the people who keep our company. We should watch out for the places we hang out to. We should watch out for the things that are preoccupying our hearts and thoughts..

 The Lord’s Counsel

What could be done when we have forsaken our First Love ?

Step One :   Face the situation honestly.  Admit it.

Step two :     Turn to the Lord for forgiveness. Admit that it is sin. Something

                      you  need to confess and forsake.

Step three : Do the things you did at first. Make a new beginning.

The  Lord’s alternative for not Repenting

What does removing the lampstand mean ?

It does not mean loss of salvation, it means the loss of privilege of being the Lord’s instrument for giving light.

The Lord’s Challenge

It is like the Lord is telling us :”Fight for your love.”

Daily, each day of our life, we should fight to maintain our love for the Lord ever aflame. It is a daily battle. We should fight for the time and resources we should give to the Lord.We should fight for our prayer time and devotional time. We should make a firm stand to rid our lives from anything that will take away our focus from the Lord.

Why would Jesus care so much  about our love for Him ? The statement of the Lord is just a strong evidence of how the Lord value us. Our love mean so much to Him.  We do not care so much about the love of those people who are not impostant to us but we do crave intensely for the love of those people we value highly. The same with the Lord, our love is very important to Him for He values us greatly. 

This hub is an excerpt from the Vesper Worship Service message preached by Brother Benjie Baclagon on January 23, 2010 at Grace Bible Church located in Manila, Philippines.

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Comments 12 comments

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

I loved the specific examples of how that passion for the Lord can grow cold. it is helpful to be aware of them because in todays world as it was in the Ephesian culture were many distractions and maybe even discouragements about the impact they were having on the world around them.

Good exhortation to keep our love alive for Him


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Cristina,

Thanks for an exposition on the Ephesian church presented in a practical way.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Ate Cristina: thank you for yet another look into that which apostle John wrote to warn us of Jesus return. I await this time with baited breath.


patrick teng 5 years ago

it's a wake-up call, thank you


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila Author

Hi Tamarajo it is great to read your comment for this hub. Thank you for visiting and appreciating this hub. Your visit and comments are greatly appreciated. Yes day by day we should guard our hearts from things that will threaten our relationship with the Lord. Sometimes we are unaware that our love for the Lord has declined. It is a daily battle for our hearts are prone to wander. We should fight for our relationship with the Lord. There are many things that will come to our lives that will threaten our relationships with the Lord. We must surrender our lives to Him each day. Blessings to you and your family. Regards.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila Author

Hi lifegate it is great to hear from you again. Thank you for dropping by and appreciating this hub. Blessings to you and regards.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila Author

Thank you Dave Mathews for dropping by. It is good to see you in this hub. Apostle John will always be a great blessing to me. He has inspired my life greatly to remain firm in my faith. Blessings and regards.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila Author

Hi Patrick it is great to see you here. I hope this hub has greatly encouraged you to remain firm in loving the Lord fervently. Blessings to you and regards.


Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 5 years ago from Atlanta Ga

You said it well.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND

Amazing hub - I learned a lot about Ephesus and it is a great reminder to keep GOD first in my ife in all I do.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila Author

Hi Apostle Jack thanks for dropping by. Blessings to you and regards.


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila Author

Hi Cari Jean it is great to hear from you again. Thank you for dropping by and appreciating this hub. Blessings and regards.

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