Summary: A sermon dealing with the problem within the church at Ephesus !
The Church Without Passion
I. Notice What Was Good !
a. Their deeds.
Jesus uses the word “works” and “labor to describe their acts and activities. Both speak of labor to the point of exhaustion. The church of Ephesus was a church of do gooders ! They worked hard for the Lord....for the church, and the ministry !
b. Their doctrine.
They were straight as an arrow when it came to doctrine. They were a Bible believing church. They examined those who claimed to be apostles of the Lord, and found them to be liars !
c. Their diligence.
Twice Jesus uses the word “patience” to describe their diligence in their work. They labored to the point of exhaustion....but did not faint
d. Their disdain.
They hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes.
Not much is known of this sect. Though it is said by many to have been named after “Nicholas” one of the original seven deacons. Some claim he became an apostate...while others say that the group merely used his name to gain some credibility. It is further said that they were a immoral group who lived lasciviously....commiting adulter, fornication, and encouraged the eating of those things offered to idols !
Notice the church at Ephesus had it right ! They hated the deeds....not the doers !
II. Notice What Was Gone. V. 4
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
a. Their devotion.
E.H. Richards in his book “The Revelation Letters shares the following story.....
A father had a young daughter that was the apple of his eye. He loved her dearly. At the time she was between 10-11 years of age. They were great friends, and were always found in each other’s company. But there seemed to come some estrangement between them for which he could not account. She seemed to shun him, and if he went for a walk, she excused herself saying she had something she must do at home. He grieved about it and could not understand it, and yet did not want to mention to her what was apparent to him One day his birthday came and that morning she came into his room, her face glowing and said, “Father I have brought you a present.” She handed him the present and opening it he bound an exquistely worked pair of slippers. He said, “Darling, it was so nice of you to buy these for me.” “ Oh Father, “she said, “I did not buy them. I have made them for you. “ Then looking at her he said, “Oh, now I think I understand. Is this what you have been doing for the last three months ?” “Yes, Father she replied. “But how did you know how long I had been working on them ?” He said, “For three months I have wanted your companionship, but have not been able to have it. You have been too busy. My darling, I like these slippers very much, but next time, buy the slippers, and let me have you. I would rather have you than anything you could make for me !”
Though their is much to do, and we must labor while it is day.....but I wonder if Jesus might be saying to us......I wish you would let me be your companion. Would you walk with me....and fellowship with me ?
Would you commune with me ? Will you love me as you did at the first ?
What causes people to leave their first love ?
Busyness......work.......success........other things !
People become effactuated with the pursuit of things....and often forget about the most important thing is ........”relationships”.
How many marriages go sour because of the pursuit of things....how many end up broken because of achievement of success ?
Can not the same thing happen in our love affair with Jesus ?
Some people relationship with the Lord goes sour, and they leave their first love because of dissension with another person.
They refuse to forgive. Their hearts become feeled with resentment, and bitterness, and this injures their relationship with the Lord.
We become discouraged perhaps because of the lack of progression in our work or the lack of perception. No one seems to notice what we do, and no one seems to care, and thus we become discouraged, and we throw up our hands.....and we leave our first love.
III. Notice What Was Given ! V. 5
a. A Call To Remember !
The church at Ephesus is called to remember from where they had fallen.
b. A Command To Repent !
It is not enough just to reminisce.
I could not tell you the number of times I have visited people who profess to be Christians, and are church members....but no longer attend......but they recall with fondness the days they were in church, and the work that they used to do !