1 Unto the angel 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 labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst 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, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 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.

Rev 2:1-7 (KJV)
Ephesus was an important city on the west coast of Asia Minor where the Apostle Paul founded a church. A number of factors contributed to the prominence which Ephesus enjoyed.

The first factor was "Economics" Ephesus was the most favorable seaport in the providence of Asia and the most important trade center west of Tarsus.

Another factor was "Size" Ephesus was the largest city in the province having a population of perhaps 300,000 people.

A third factor was "Culture" Ephesus contained a theater that seated an estimated 25,000 people.    

A main road 105 feet wide ran from the theater to the harbor with a gate at each end. The road was flanked on each side by columns 50 feet deep.                

The fourth factor and perhaps the most significant reason for the prominence  of Ephesus was "Religion" The temple of Diana was ranked as one of the Seven wonders of the  Ancient world. The temple was supported by 127 columns each one 197 feet high.   

The History of Christianity began at Ephesus probably around A. D. 59, perhaps as a result of the efforts of Priscilla and Aquila (Acts  18:18) Paul came to Ephesus about A. D. 52 and ministered there for about three years. During Paul's time at Ephesus he wrote 1 Corinthians.
After Paul departed from Ephesus Timothy remained to combat false teaching (1 Timothy 1:3 and 2 Timothy 4:3)

The Apostle John lived in Ephesus toward the end of the first century. In his vision from the island of Patmos off the coast of Asia Minor, John described the church of Ephesus as flourishing, although it was troubled with false teachers and had left it's "First Love"

The Church of Ephesus  Revelation 2:1-7

Ephesus gives us a picture of the church as it was in the beginning, when the Lord held the stars (His servants) in His hand and controlled their ministry.
Sadly many of His servants today are controlled by money and fame. 

Verse 2:3 tells us that the early church was walking in separation from the world. The Bible tells us that those who walk in sink with the world are enemies of God. Many today try to match the world and the church together, this is in opposition to the mind of God. Bringing the world into the church only causes confusion, and these efforts will never convert the world.

Believers in the days of Ephesus could not bear those who were evil. In our day church discipline is almost at an end. In many churches today anyone is welcome to full participation in all church privileges, particularly if they have a good bank account. In the Ephesian church they said we don't want numbers if they are not holy numbers.

Not just anyone would be listened to by the church at Ephesus. They tried those who claimed to be Apostles and if they were deceivers they refused them as liars.

But these day teacher can deny almost any truth of Scripture and the church hardly knows the difference.

In verse 3 we learn these saints were suffering for the sake of the name of the Lord Jesus. They were not suffering for any denomination or a cause they were suffering for Christ sake.

But even then there was evidence of decline.

Verse 4 "Nevertheless" I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Their hearts were drifting away from Christ.

Jesus said "I know thy works" notice how Jesus first observes what is good about the church. How they labored, their patience, how they tried those who said they were apostles and found some to be liars.

While He always sees what is good in us He also sees what is wrong in us. He said to the church at Ephesus "I have somewhat against thee, because you have left thy first love"

Now they had not turned away from Him, because there was much good that Jesus mentioned. Their problem was that they had lost their eagerness to serve, they had lost the joy of following Jesus. they were not as excited about it as they were in the beginning.

Many today are not as excited as they once were, they go through the motions like a rehearsed play. They still come to church when there is nothing more important to do, they still pray every now and then. But the desire and the commitment is not there anymore. Their testimony has faded and is hardly ever told anymore. The church today is not the light in darkness it once was because the believers lights have gone dim and some have even gone out.

Jesus was grieved by their lack of concern. The Bible tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Yet many today grieve the Holy Spirit and don't even recognize that they are.

The sin Jesus charged this church with was their decay and decline in love for Him and others and their zeal for worship.

He said "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen"  repent and do the first works.  They were to compare their present state with their former state.  And consider how much peace, strength, purity, and pleasure they had lost by leaving their first love.

How much more comfortable they could lie down and sleep at night, How much more cheerful they could wake up in the morning, How much easier it would be to bear the hard times.

The solution they were to repent. They  must be inwardly ashamed and grieved for their sin, and humbly confess it in the sight of God.

Then they were to go back and do the first works over again.  They were tom begin again, go back to where they started their walk with the Lord and remember.

When ever people lose their way and get off track the best place to find their way back is to start at the beginning.

He said do this or "I will come quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent"

If the presence of Christ's grace and His Spirit be slighted we can expect His discipline.

Take the time right now to evaluate your relationship with Jesus Christ. Is it at the same level it was when you were saved? Do you find yourself just going through the motions, Do you still pray everyday, read your Bible everyday?

If you are not as excited today about serving Jesus as you once were, then you too have left your first love. And Jesus would give you the same advice he gave to the church at Ephesus.

Repent and do the first works over again!

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