The Apostle John saw an incredible vision of the risen Christ, as recorded in Revelation, chapter 1.
He also saw a vision of seven golden candlesticks and stars, representing seven churches and their angels, or messengers. While John was exiled to the island of Patmos for his faith, Christ dictated a letter to each of these seven churches for him to write down and send to them. These letters are recorded in the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation.
The first letter was to the church of Ephesus. They were a faithful and hard-working church who had a lot in their favor. Christ complimented them on their perseverance and their ability to distinguish from those who were true and false within the church. We must carefully be able to do the same today because not everyone in the church of today is what he or she seems to be. There are those in the church who would corrupt, undermine, and destroy the true work of God. A spirit of discernment is necessary to distinguish the real from the fake, the true from the false.
Then Christ told the church of Ephesus that he had something against them. They had left their first love. They were busy with the work of the church and their personal lives, but they had neglected their personal relationship with him, who is the head of the church. Over time, something drastic had happened to them, and they were not even aware of it. We run the same risk today of getting so busy with our lives, and even our ministries, that we leave our first love that once was passionate and intense, but now has grown cold and indifferent.
Jesus told them to do three things. First, he told them to remember the height from which they had fallen. Second, he told them to repent. They needed to stop, turn around, and get back on track spiritually. Third, he told them to return their spiritual lives back to the way they used to be when they first met the Lord.
The message for us is the same today. Many people in the church drift, ever so slowly, and lose their first love. They need to stop and realize just how far they have drifted and repent and return to their first love.
Jesus gave a stern warning for those who failed to do so. He said he would come and remove their candlestick (church). They were in danger of losing their church.
He then said: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." We all need really to hear what Christ is saying to the church today. He is still speaking. The question is if we are truly listening.
Finally, Christ made a promise to those who would overcome; they would have the right to eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God. What an incredible promise.
Through this letter, Christ is still speaking to his church of today. What is he saying to your church? to you? What do you need to do about it?
Unfortunately, the people of the church of Ephesus did not obey Christ's word, and their church was removed from them. Christ means what he says. Do not let what happened to the church of Ephesus happen to you.