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Summary: Lost Zeal

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YOU DON’T LOVE ME LIKE YOU USE TO

REV. 2:1-5

INTRODUCTION: IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDID THING, IT MAKES THE SOUL TO REJOICE AND THE HEART TO SING. YES, LOVE CAN MAKE WEAK MEN STRONG, SAD HEARTS GLAD BECAUSE IT MAY BE THE BEST EXPERIENCE ONE’S EVER HAD. LOVE CAN DO WONDERS IF YOU’D ONLY GIVE IT A TRY, MANY GO THROUGH LONLINESS AND ASK THEMSELVES WHY? BUT IF WE ARE NOT CAREFUL, LOVE CAN GROW OLD, WHEN THAT OCCURS, IF OFTEN GROWS COLD. MANY RELATIONSHIPS HAVE ENDED BECAUSE LOVE HAS FLOWN AWAY, IT WAS NOT APPRECIATED, THEREFORE IT COULD NOT STAY. MANY HAVE STATED, “YOU SAY THAT YOU LOVE ME, AND THAT JUST MIGHT BE TRUE; BUT TELL ME BABY WHY YOU DON’T LOVE ME LIKE YOU USE TO.” I LOVE THE LITTLE THINGS THAT YOU USE TO DO, SOMETHING HAS CHANGED AND YOU DON’T LOVE ME LIKE YOU USE TO.

I. THE TEXT

JOHN WRITES THIS LETTER TO THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS. EPHESUS WAS THE MAIN CENTER OF GRECIAN CULTURE AND IDOLATRY. THE TEMPLE OF DIANA WAS SITUATED THERE, IT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT CITY OF ASIA. WHEN A PROCOUNSUL TOOK UP HIS APPOINTMENT, HE RESIDED IN EPHESUS. EPHESUS WAS A GREAT COMMERCIAL CITY WHERE MERCHANTS OF THE WORLD PASSED THROUGH.

VERSE ONE ILLUSTRATES THE PRESENCE OF JESUS WALKING IN THE MIDST OF THE CHURCH. VERSE TWO, REVEALS HIS ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE OF THINGS THAT TAKE PLACE IN HIS CHURCH. HE KNOWS THE MOTIVES BEHIND THE WORK OF EVERY BELIEVER.

THE EPHESIAN CHURCH HAS DONE SOME THINGS WELL. THEY HAVE LABORED, THEY HAVE BEEN PATIENT, THEY HATE THAT WHICH IS EVIL, THEY HAVE NOT GIVEN UP THE RACE. ON THE SURFACE THIS SEEMS LIKE A GOOD CHURCH. BUT THEY HAVE LEFT OUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, THEIR LOVE FOR CHRIST HAS TURNED COLD. THERE ARE MANY CHURCHES THAT FALL INTO THIS CATEGORY.

NO MATTER HOW FINANCIALYY SECURE A CHURCH MAY BE, IF THEY HAVE FALLEN OUT OF LOVE WITH CHRIST, THEY ARE UNSTABLE. IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW GOOD THE MUSIC MINISTRY IS, IF THEY DO NOT LOVE CHRIST, THEIR SINGING IS EMPTY. JESUS IS TELLING MANY CHURCHES TODAY, YOU DON’T LOVE ME LIKE YOU USE TO.

II. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHURCH FALLS OUT OF LOVE

WHEN A CHURCH FALLS OUT OF LOVE WITH CHRIST THEY FALL OUT OF LOVE WITH HUMANITY AS WELL. THEY MEET EVERY SUNDAY OUT OF HABIT. THEY GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS BUT GOD IS NOT PLEASED. THE EPHESIAN CHURCH WAS UNDER THE COMDENATION AND INDICTMENT OF CHRIST. CHRIST MUST BE THE CENTER OF OUR ATTENTION, OUR ADORATION, AND OUR LOVE.

WHEN A CHURCH ABANDONS THEIR LOVE FOR CHRIST, REST ASSURED THAT EVANGELISM WILL NOT TAKE PLACE. PEOPLE WILL BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THINGS THAN FOR OTHERS. WHEN A CHURCH FORSAKES THEIR LOVE FOR CHRIST, THEY FORFEIT THE RICH BLESSINGS THAT CHRIST WANTS TO BESTOW UPON THEM. THEY ALSO STAND IN JUDGEMENT AS HAVING THEIR WITNESS NULLIFIED. WONDER WHY SOME CHURCHES DO NOT PROSPER, IT’S BECAUSE THEY HAVE FORSAKEN THEIR FIRST LOVE!

I WONDER TODAY, ZION, IF WE HAVE FORSAKEN OUR FIRST LOVE. IF WE LOVE CHRIST, IT OUGHT TO SHOW UP IN OUR ACTIONS FOR HIM AND TOWARDS EACH OTHER. 1 JOHN 4:20, “IF A MAN SAY, I LOVE GOD, AND HATETH HIS BROTHER, HE IS A LIAR: FOR HE THAT LOVETH NOT HIS BROTHER WHOM HE HATH SEEN, HOW CAN HE LOVE GOD WHOM HE HATH NOT SEEN?”

NOT ONLY IS THIS MESSAGE TO CHURCHES, BUT IT CAN APPLY TO US AS INDIVIDUALS. HAVE WE FORSAKEN OUR LOVE FOR CHRIST? IF THERE IS NO POWER IN OUR LIVES, IT IS INDICATIVE THAT OUR LOVE HAS GONE IN ANOTHER DIRECTION. AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A CHURCH I WANT TO ASK THIS QUESTION, HOW IS YOUR LOVE LIFE AS IT PERTAINS TO CHRIST?

III. CONCLUSION

ALTHOUGH CHRIST ISSUES A STERN WARNING TO THIS CHURCH HE DID NOT GIVE UP ON THEM. HE RECOMMENDS RECONCILIATION. ONE, WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER. REMEMBER THAT IT WAS CHRIST WHO DIED FOR US. REMEMBER THAT IT WAS CHRIST WHO LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY. REMEMBER THAT HE CONTINUES TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR US. REMEMBER HIM! TWO, REPENT. WE MUST TELL THE LORD THAT WE ARE SORRY FOR LOSING FOCUS. WE MUST MAKE A BREAK WITH THOSE THINGS THAT CAUSE OUR LOVE TOWARDS HIM TO GROW STALE. THREE, RETURN TO DOING OUR WORK OF LOVE TO HIM AND OUR FELLOW MAN. RETURN TO FEEDING THE HUNGRY. RETURN TO BEING KINDLY AFFECTIONED ONE TOWARDS ANOTHER.

IF YOU LOVE HIM, YOU OUGHT TO SHOW SOME SIGN.

· YOU WON”T GO WHERE YOU USE TO GO.

· YOU WON”T TALK THE WAY YOU USE TO TALK.

· YOU WON’T ACT THE WAY YOU USE TO ACT.

HE IS WORTHY OF OUR LOVE:

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