We have begun a new series entitled: “What Would Jesus Say?” It’s a study of Jesus’ words to the seven churches in Asia in the first 3 chapters of Revelation. Are these words just for the benefit of the churches as they were 2000 years ago? Of course not, they have universal application, not only to the condition of the churches then, but to us today as well.
So, the message comes to us today… what would Jesus say about us? Would he commend us for our diligence and our Christian lives? or would he correct us? So, let's get into it and see what the Lord would say to the Church of Ephesus… will he commend them for their Christian lives and discipleship or will He correct them?
Revelation 1:1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
And so, Jesus has got a lot of good things to say to this church: hard-working, diligent, patiently enduring persecution, standing to their convictions, wouldn't tolerate evildoers and finally, discerning with regards to spiritual leaders who were sowing seeds of discord.
“But I've got this against you,” Jesus says, “You have left your first love.” Our relationship with Jesus is a love relationship. We love him because He first loved us. The motive for everything we do in the church and in our Christian lives has to do with love. And some of us are saying, What's Love Got to Do with It? We work hard in the church, we're diligent, we're patient in times of persecution, we stand to our beliefs and we try to discern bad leadership. Can't get much better than that, can it?
Jesus says here,” You left your first love”. Something happened along the way. There was a time when you experienced and felt a love and a gratitude to Jesus for sins forgiven. There was an overwhelming sense of love and affection and appreciation in your heart for the great sacrifice that He gave for you. It was personal and it was deep. It was “first love”. Jesus says that you left. You walked away from that. Why did we do that? How did we do that? And what is the remedy to all of this?
Revelation 2: 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
Remember - from where you have fallen….call to remembrance the joy of sins forgiven. Repent - of what? failing to spend time in prayer. Failing to spend time in the word. Neglecting the family of God. Repeat - do the first works. Spend time again with the Lord, in prayer and in His word.
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “After the Love is Gone.”