Thursday, March 6, 2014

THE EPHESIAN CHURCH

You may remember the seven churches that John mentions in Revelation 2. Among them is the church of Ephesus, a congregation Jesus commends very highly.

I like to think of our church in Times Square as being like the Ephesian church. That body of believers labored in one of the world's most populous cities, never fainting in the midst of vile wickedness. The people lived sacrificially, hated sin and refused to accept false doctrines. They stood strong in faith, loving God with all their heart no matter what temptations Satan threw at them.

Yet Christ knew something was amiss among these people. He so loved this church—it was such a bright lamp to the nations—that He wasn’t about to sit idly by and let it die. So He told the Ephesians, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4).

Jesus was saying, “Your fire is going out! The love for Me that once motivated your faithfulness is waning. You once bore My burden for the lost but now you are satisfied merely to sit and listen to sermons. You have become totally engrossed in your own personal concerns while ignoring Mine. You have fallen far from where you once stood!”

Jesus then tells them, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen” (verse 5). He is saying, “Think back! You used to yearn to come to My house, to be with My saints, to bear My burden. But now an hour on Sunday morning is plenty for you!”

So, dear Christian, are you still on fire for Jesus? Are you in love with Him as passionately as when you first got saved? Or have you lost interest in His concerns, forsaking all ministry? Do you have too much else going on in your life? If so, the Lord says to you, “I have something against you—you have left your first love!”

Listen to what Jesus says to us at this point: “Repent, and do the first works” (verse 5). He is saying, “Mourn over your growing apathy. Be contrite and take it seriously. Then let your grief lead you back to where you were when you first loved Me!”