Summary: God has brought the church to trial. He has found us guilty of leaving our first love. So the question is what does love have to do with. Through this we find out that Love has everything to do with it.
The Church On Trial Pt. 1
What Does Love Have To Do With It?
Revelation 2: 1-7
2 Write this to Ephesus, to the Angel of the church. The One with Seven Stars in his right-fist grip, striding through the golden seven-lights’ circle, speaks: 2-3 “I see what you’ve done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can’t stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause, that you never wear out. 4-5 “But you walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen? A Lucifer fall! “Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste, for I’m well on my way to removing your light from the golden circle. 6 “You do have this to your credit: You hate the Nicolaitan business. I hate it, too. 7 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I’m about to call each conqueror to dinner. I’m spreading a banquet of Tree-of-Life fruit, a supper plucked from God’s orchard.”
I want to lift of the overall thought this morning, “The Church on Trial”. But I want to give a sub-thought and I want to get to a conclusion of the matter and give you a verdict on today. I want to give the sub-thought and verdict of “What does love have to do with It?
For the next few weeks, we will be dealing with the Book of Revelation. God convened a hearing and has called the church to trial. And so we will be dealing with the letters that were written to the 7 churches of Asia Minor. In these seven letters the Spirit gives a complete picture of the moral and spiritual history of the church, along with other truths.
Each letter that we will be teaching and coming from has four elements attached. (1) The manner in which Christ presents Himself. (2) The commendation or condemnation He gives. (3) The reward He promises. (4) The exhortation to hear. You will notice that even though these letters are written to specific churches, they also apply to us believers in every age.
John begins, by addressing his message to the “angel” –probably referring to the pastor or elder—of the church of Ephesus. These are the things said by HE who holds the 7 lamp stands, or the 7 churches, in HIS hand. Let me say here Christ is seen here in His proper place of guiding, controlling and ruling over all. The text says he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand. How many know that he’s got you in his hands. You may think you’re in good hands with Allsate but you are in better hands with God.
The Ephesian church of Revelation chapter 2 is in a state that many of our churches, are in. The Ephesians church is in a state that, if not looked at and seriously critiqued, many churches are going to be in real soon. What is that situation? Well, the situation is just as John explained it.
Today we say so many times the phrase “Make it plain.” Well, John made it plain, by telling them as it was. He said: “These are the things said by Christ I’ve got convened a trial, and I got some good news for you and some bad news for you today. Let me tell you the good news first.”
You’ve been real good. I know what you’ve done, I know the labors that you have done in My name, I know that you’ve had patience, I know that you’ve contended for the faith, and I’m proud of you.
You see, I know that you’ve done your work for the community. You’ve provided clothes for the community; you’ve provided help and money for those that suffered at the hand of natural disasters like fire and flood. You labored for the kingdom of God.
You’ve had your weekly Bible studies, and your choir rehearsals, and your monthly church meetings. You’ve had communion once a month, and I’m glad. You’ve contested for the faith against false apostles and you know that they are liars. You’ve taught your churches to know the validity and power of the Holy Bible. You’ve taught the truth of the Word. You’ve told your children that there’s just something NOT right about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Mormons. You’ve told our youth that our God is NOT the same god of the Buddhists, and Hindus, and the Unitarians. But that’s what you did!
God says that there is no doubt that you love me and that you serve me. But nevertheless I have somewhat against thee. Somewhere along the road, you have veered off course and now you have left your first Love.