Revelation 2:5 – Christ gives a stern warning to the church at Ephesus
Revelation 2:5 – Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…
Making the Lord first in priority, by loving Him with all one’s “heart, soul and mind” (Revelation 2:4) are the “first works.” The works of the Ephesians toward others were admirable, as the Lord commended them. However, it is clear that their motive for doing good works had changed because they had “left their first love.” In other words, the Lord urged them to repent of their motives and return to serve with “sincerity of heart, as to Christ… and not to men” (Ephesians 6:5, 7), as they did in the past. Repentance would restore the relationship with the Lord; such was the case for Israel:
Zechariah 1:3 – Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.’
Revelation 2:5 – …or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent.
Christ gives a stern warning to the church at Ephesus that He would personally intervene if they did not repent. This does not mean that He would physically return, as will be the case at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 19). Rather, because the Church is subject to Christ (Ephesians 5:24), as the head of the Church, He has authority to intervene judicially in a congregation’s affairs:
Ephesians 1:22-23 – And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
“Remove thy candlestick”: God’s judgment would bring an end to the Ephesian church.
There is no substitute for undivided, fervent, undying love for Jesus Christ. Jesus warned the church at Ephesus to “repent, and do the first works; or else, I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove the candlestick, out of his place, except thou repent” He warned that if they did not repent, judgment would fall. They would no longer be a true light and witness to the world.
How many of our churches today are lifeless, dull, and mechanical? How many lack the light and witness of Christ and His power? The condition in this church, and in our churches and individual lives, did not happen overnight. It was a gradual process whereby believers left their “first” love, their passionate “bridal” love for Christ. The “first love” to which Christ called the church in Ephesus to return can be with the “bridal” love in a marriage relationship.
God expects holiness and righteousness of His people, and even more than that, He wants our pure love for Him. If you are going to church for any other reason than to fellowship with God and to learn of His will in your life, then you must ask yourself this question: Is what I am doing pleasing to God or me?
The wonderful thing about God is that He will allow us to repent. If we repent, He will forgive us, and give us another chance. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Jesus, in the verse above, is telling the physical church at Ephesus and the spiritual church of our day, to stop all of the worldly carrying on, and get back to church, like our ancestors. The church must love and reverence God. Just as Moses was told to remove his shoes because he was on Holy Ground, we must realize that in God’s presence, we too are on Holy ground.
The things of the Spirit are from God as a gift. They cannot and should not be taught. The things of the Spirit are not received, because we have figured out a way to make God give them to us. They are received by us as a gift from God, because we are humble enough to receive them. Nothing is more wonderful, than for the Spirit of God to move in His church. The gifts of the Spirit are to be sought from God, but not to be used for our purposes. God still heals. God still saves. God still raises the dead. God still delivers the oppressed. God does it; the power is His. We may be the instrument He uses, but it is not our power, it is His.
A new bride is so in love with her husband that he is the central focus of her life. When she takes her wedding vows, she promises to forsake all others and give herself solely to him. She eagerly anticipates his desires and lovingly tries to meet all his needs. She spends every possible moment with him. In this “bridal love” relationship, there is a special intimacy that develops between the bride and her bridegroom. She longs to know everything possible about him. She opens her heart to him, revealing her innermost secrets and desires. While they are apart from one another, she longs for him and eagerly anticipates when she will be with him once again. Because of her love, the bride puts her bridegroom first, before all else, including her own needs, desires, and ambitions.
It is this type of pure, fervent, self sacrificing “bridal love” for Christ that made the disciples willing to give themselves 100% for the cause of Christ. It was this type of love that burned up their own selfish desires, motivated them to serve Christ with single hearted devotion, and made them willing to lay down their lives for the cause of Christ. It is this type of love that we must have burning within us to enable us to fulfill the purposes of God in these final moments of time before Christ’s return. Just as Christ called the church in Ephesus to return to their first love, He is walking among us today, calling us to repent and return to our first love.
Here are seven warning signs that signal that a church or individual has left their first love.
(1) Christ is no longer the central focus in your life;
(2) You neglect your relationship with the Lord and spend less time in prayer, worship and the Word;
(3) You allow family, friends, job and your own desires to come between you and your relationship with God;
(4) There is a loss of intimacy in your relationship with God;
(5) You are caught in a cycle of dead works;
(6) You are more tolerant of sin;
(7) You will no longer have a burning passion for the lost.
Your works were motivated by intense love and devotion to the Lord. Compare your love for the Lord today with what it was then. Has your love grown deeper or has it lost its fervency? Are your works motivated by a passionate love for God or are you doing them merely out of a sense of duty? Ask the Lord to forgive you for leaving your first love. Begin to do your first works again. Make a new commitment to the basics of prayer, worship, and the Word. Fan the flame of the dying embers of your first love through renewed communion with the Lord. This fervent love is required of all those who belong to the Lord. Jesus called this the first and great commandment:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” “This is the first and great commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38).
The worst thing in all the world would be to have walked closely with God, and because of compromise and worldliness lose out with God. We read in this verse, if this is the condition of you or your church, REPENT. Jesus, having said this one thing that He has against them, goes immediately back to praising them as we see in the very next verse.
It is also interesting to note, that Aaron, as the first earthly high priest, was in charge of the lamp stands in the tabernacle (Leviticus 24:1-4). Jesus, as the ultimate high priest (Hebrews 5), is in charge of the heavenly lamp stands, the churches (Revelation 1:13).
The Greek word translated “quickly” means swift, speedily, or without delay. The Ephesians needed to promptly repent. If they delayed in turning from their sin, the Lord would soon come and remove their “lampstand from its place.” Recall from Revelation 1:12, that the churches are lamp stands that “shine as lights in the world.” The Holy Spirit is the source of the light. Revelation 1:13 shows that the shaft or based support the branches of the lamp stand, just like the vine that supports the branches:
John 15:5 – I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing….
Therefore, the lamp stand being moved “from its place” means that the church of Ephesus would no longer be used by the Lord. It is interesting to note that the Greek word “kineo” translated as “remove” can also mean to provoke, or stir. I imagine that this letter to the Ephesians would have created quite a “stir” that would hopefully have led the congregation to repentance. Indeed, for the next several hundred years, the church at Ephesus remained and played an important role in the early church, which suggests that the congregation that received the letter repented. At some point, the lamp stand of Ephesus was eventually removed, as there is little trace left of the church that existed there.
image courtesy: revelation-25- dr max younce pastor
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.