Have You Forsaken
Your First Love

Dan Corner

AFTER SALVATION They Had Forsaken Their First Love

Imagine hearing Jesus say, You have forsaken your first love. Those are his words to people who had done that! The book of Revelation was written for many reasons. One of the many includes a specific message for the church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7). That message is still relevant in our modern day when people are backsliding.

After the Lord Jesus commended the Ephesians for their good deeds, hard work, perseverance, treatment of wicked men, discernment in spotting false apostles and for not growing weary in hardships for His name (Rev. 2:2,3), he then said:

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love (Rev. 2:4).
Jesus could see what had happened. It wasn't hidden from his sight by the blood of Jesus or grace or the cross! His factual and dreadful words were spoken to religious people who assembled in much the same way that the Christians do today! It especially applies to those who are backslidden, but still in the congregation.

Please notice that this was a very serious charge then, and still is today. They had the religious form and many commendable virtues, but their love and affection for the Lord Jesus had deteriorated. Jesus used the word, forsaken not lost in verse 4. This same Greek word is used in John 4:28 where the Samaritan woman left her water jar. In other words, as that woman LEFT or FORSOOK her water jar, those at Ephesus LEFT or FORSOOK Jesus as their first love. Jesus not only told the Ephesians their serious sin, but also gave them a dire warning if they would choose not to repent! His warning was:

... If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Rev 2:5)
Jesus Christ doesn't change. He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb.13:8).

Can Forsaking Your First Love Be Spiritually Fatal

The Remedy If You Have
Forsaken Your First Love

They had fallen from a great spiritual height, yet there was hope for them to return to their first love and escape the judgment of God, as there is for you. Jesus said the procedure was threefold:

(1) "Remember the height from which you have fallen!" In other words, reflect back upon the time when you first got saved by turning to God in repentance and placing your faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21). Remember your hunger then to learn the Bible and to hear God's Word preached and taught. Remember the quality time you spent in prayer to God throughout the day. Remember how quickly and excited you were to tell others about eternal life and freedom from sins. Remember how you couldn't do enough in the service of the Lord. Now, however, all this had changed for the Ephesians, which reflects a change of first love.

(2) They were to repent. (Please notice that this was written to those who repented in the past when they first got saved! This means that Christians can repent more than once.) Jesus was telling them to turn from evil. That is the Biblical repentance definition (Matt. 12:41 cf. Jonah 3:10).

(3) Return and do the things you did at first. This is still the remedy today for those who have forsaken their first love.

Remember, Repent and Return

In verse 7, Jesus said:
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Directly, the Lord was referring to overcoming the fall the Ephesians experienced, namely: forsaking their first love. Have YOU forsaken your first love? If you have: remember, repent and return. Loving Jesus is a salvation issue and here is proof that God knows those who love him and his anathema is on those who don't love the Lord Jesus:
But the man who loves God is known by God. (1 Cor 8:3)
If anyone does not love the Lord--a curse be on him. Come, O Lord ! (1 Cor 16:22)
If you have left your first love it is a salvation issue for you to remember, repent and return!


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