Rev 2:1-7 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Warning signs that signal that a church or individual has left their first love.
- Christ is no longer the central focus in your life.
- You neglect your relationship with the Lord and spend less time in prayer, worship and the Word.
- You allow family, friends, job and your own desires to come between you and your relationship with God.
- There is a loss of intimacy in your relationship with God.
- You are caught in a cycle of dead works
- You are more tolerant of sin
- You will no longer have a burning passion for the lost
EPHESUS: LOST ITS FIRST LOVE
Ephesus was the leading city of Asia Minor—but it was in a state of decline. The Ephesian church is symbolic of the Apostolic era of the first and second centuries ad. This church is commended for its works—the preaching, enduring and serving by the early disciples (Revelation 2:1–3). Even they had to discern between false teachers and true Christian ministers. However, like the fading glory of Ephesus, the Church at the end of the first century was told that “you have left your first love” (Revelation 2:4). God warned that, unless they repented, He would cease to use them for His purpose (Revelation 2:5).