Today God gave me something in Revelation 2, verses 2 through 5, which say:
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:2-5)
If God has something against you, it tends to be wise to listen to what He says and change accordingly. This passage, however, could be confusing. ‘Abandoning your first love,’ could mean a variety of things. It could mean that many people in the Church were getting divorced, or even that some people were literally abandoning their spouse (i.e., leaving without being divorced). However, we should keep in mind what we talked about in the first couple of verses of Revelation: the book of Revelation is not a revelation about us, but a revelation of Christ. Therefore, it seems unlikely that this passage would be talking about physical divorce, as that in no way reveals Christ. Quite the opposite, actually, as whenever a couple divorces, we see a reminder of humanity’s fallen nature.
Spiritual divorce, however, is something this passage could be talking about. The reason for this being, that when you’re born again, you’re “first love” is always Christ. Before being born again, and being given a new nature, you could well have loved another human, and when you become a Christian that isn’t taken away. However, that fellow human is no longer your first love, Jesus is. Thus, when God talks here about how the Church had ‘abandoned the love they had at first,’ He seems to be saying that they abandoned their love for Christ.
Can you remember when you first became a Christian? You were likely feeling zealous for God, praying frequently, and possibly in the Word rather more than you are now… To put it one way,if you still maintain the same zeal, love, and passion for Christ as when you were saved, I’m afraid you must have already died and gone to Heaven. It is simply not possible while we still live in flesh and bone bodies to always be passionate for Christ. Along with everything else in the World after the fall, our love for God gradually decays if we aren’t constantly in the Word and around other believers. The Church in Ephesus, sadly, had let its love for Christ ‘decay’ so much that their worship was likely in a fairly poor state. Thus, God is warning them that if they continue to put Jesus off to the side in their services, He will have to take away their light. That isn’t to say He would take away their salvation, only that He would take away their effectiveness in the World as lights for God.
There is some pretty clear application for us here. We have to be careful that we don’t allow ourselves to become complacent in our love for Christ. He should always be the center of our worship, whether that worship is private or public (such as in a Church). Setting up a daily reading schedule for your family can help in this a lot, as can making time every day to be alone and pray.