Summary: When a person becomes a believer, the spiritual journey is much like a honeymoon. There is passion, zeal and enthusiasm for the Lord. But as time rolls by, that “first love” can subside. This is what happened in the church at Ephesus, and Jesus gives the
You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
Sermon 1 in the series “You’ve Got Mail”
July 10, 2011
For the PowerPoint for the sermon, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skeleton outline borrowed from “When The Honeymoon Ends” by LeLand Patrick. The meat on the bones is mine and I hope does not negatively reflect on Bro. Patrick’s original sermon.
TEXT: Turn in your Bibles please to Revelation 2
Today I want to start a seven-sermon series on the messages Christ gave to the seven churches in Asia in Revelation 2-3.
There are various ways of interpreting these messages to these seven churches.
First, they may be viewed PROPHETICALLY. – Many dispensationalists believe each of these churches represent a different stage of church history over the past 2,000 plus years.
But I believe the most natural interpretation is to view them PRACTICALLY. – While these messages speak of specific churches in that day, they will also speak to every church in existence today, and so God has a word for Grace Baptist Church in these letters.
But whether you primarily interpret these seven messages prophetically, or practically for church congregations, we should also view them PERSONALLY.
These letters speak to congregations, but congregations are made up of individuals. So God has something to say to you and to me about our relationship with Him. So let’s begin our series first by opening in prayer. (OPEN IN PRAYER)
Please stand with me in honor of God’s Word as we read out text: Revelation 2:1-7 – “Unto the angel [lit. “messenger” which refers to the pastor or elder] 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; 2 I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou can not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne [i.e., “have endured”], and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted [i.e., “grown weary”]. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 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. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 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.”
Illus. –A few weeks ago I had the joy of being at our youngest son’s wedding. After Allen and Brooke tied the knot, they went on their honeymoon in Bermuda. On their return they’re doing like all couples do just after their honeymoon—kissin’ and huggin’ at the least excuse, hanging all over each other like two earthworms in heat, and being EXTREMELY courteous and helpful and loving and gentle.
Now I know what most of you are thinking; [GET AUDIENCE RESPONSE:] You’re thinking, “Just wait till the WHAT ends?” (Answer: THE HONEYMOON!) Boy, you’re a cynical bunch!
One of the most well-known pop songs of the twentieth century expresses the heartbreak and heartache of the loss lovers feel when “the honeymoon ends”:
You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips.
And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips.
You’re trying hard not to show it, But baby, baby I know it...
You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, Whoa, that lovin’ feeling,
You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, Now it’s gone...gone...gone...wooooooh.
How many of you had the tune going on in your head while I was saying the lyrics?
You know folks, we shouldn’t lose that loving feeling towards our spouses. The honeymoon should never end! Yeah, I know that something more substantive replaces the feeling of first love, but really, marriage should have a love that is always fresh and always filled with passion.
Now this same principle applies to the spiritual life. When a person comes to Christ, the spiritual journey is much like a honeymoon. There should be passion, zeal and enthusiasm for Christ. ¿However, as time rolls along, that “first love” can diminish, can’t it?
This is what happened in the church at Ephesus. Today I want to examine this church and learn from it like a doctor would. He would diagnose a medical problem, assess the damage and then prescribe a remedy.
I. FIRST, NOTICE THE LORD’S DIAGNOSIS OF THE PROBLEM. – It was three-fold:
1. First, they had ACTIVITY WITHOUT INTIMACY.