Sermons

Summary: Remember the height from which we have fallen and return back to our first, true love of Christ.

Return to Your First Love

Do your remember your first love?

I do. I was just a teenager. When I met her I fell in love with her at first sight. She was beautiful and sleek. She had curves that had never been seen before. She was fast and handled perfectly. I spent all of my money on her and all of my time with her. I loved my 1957 Chevy. It had a 283 V-8 engine and I could blow everyone off of the road. I spend all my free time cleaning and waxing her. That 57 Chevy was the love of my life. I no longer have that car, but I will never forget it.

Do you remember your first love?

Most of the things in my early life I no longer remember, but I do remember when I accepted Christ as my Savior and my Lord. I remember how much I enjoyed going to Sunday school and Church. I remember my teachers and Pastor. Going to church to worship my Lord was very important to me. Because of my love for Christ, I never got into trouble as a teenager. I wanted to serve my Lord more than anything else in my life. As a teenager God was calling me into His ministry, I was ready to accept, until I saw some things happen in our church, that I knew even at that young age, was wrong and against God’s commandments. Because of those circumstances, I did not accept God’s call in the ministry until 40 years later. I made a grave mistake by turning away from my first love in Christ. The church that I was attending also had forgotten their first love and made traditions more important than loving and worshiping Christ.

Let’s read about a church in the Bible that also turned away from their first love.

Rev 2:1-11

1 "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:

2 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.

3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

5 Remember 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.

6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7 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.

(NIV)

At the time of this letter was written, Ephesus was a flourishing city with a population of about 225,000 and possessed a huge harbor. The harbor could accommodate the largest ships in the world. Ephesus grew to become one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world. The temple of Diana was there, which was one the seven wonders of the ancient world, being the largest Greek temple ever constructed. Diana was believed to be the mother goddess of the world by the Greeks. Diana was the goddess of fertility, life and reproduction, so the worship of Diana was immoral beyond description. The worship consisted of sexual orgies and sexual mutilation. The Church at Ephesus had much to contend with, just has our churches today has to contend with pornography and homosexuals.

The Commendation:

Rev.2

2 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.

3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Christ tells the church that He knows of their hard work and perseverance. The church in Ephesus was surrounded by all kinds of sins. There were the sexual sins of the worship of the goddess Diana. With Ephesus being one of the wealthiest cities in the world, there was the obvious sin of the love of money. The saints of Ephesus had over come all of this. They hated all that was evil and could not tolerate wicked men.

Sin is rampant in our city just like it was in Ephesus. Do we hate the sin that is in our world today and do we not tolerate wicked men? Pornography is rampant in our city and nation, the killing of unborn babies is accepted even by some so called Christians and now it appears Hobbs will get our first horse track and casino. Are we standing up against these sins or are we just sitting back and letting it happen? Christ commended the church at Ephesus for their hard work against the wicked and also for their "toil to the point of exhaustion" for their service to Christ. Are we toiling to the point of exhaustion trying to reach the lost and to bring them into the fold of the church? Also do we know the word of God well enough to test someone’s teaching that may come into our church? Today many people including Christians are being deceived by false doctrines that have come about since the Sep 11th terrorist attack.

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Craig Molitoris

commented on Aug 5, 2015

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