Remember Thy First Love

IMGNevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 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.
Revelation 2:4-5 (KJV)

In this passage of Revelation 2 Christ addresses the church of Ephesus. The fault He finds with this church is quite evident today, for Satan has deceived many in the bride of Christ into leaving her first love for something else. She has become lax in her wifely duties and it is no minor matter, because the removal of the candlestick from its place is representative of the loss of salvation.

The first love spoken of here is of course Jesus Christ Himself. The seven churches of the book of Revelation are archetypes and the church of Ephesus is representative of those who have moved away from the 'first works' and onto others. Satan has twisted their love and made it backwards.

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Genesis 2:18 (KJV)

What are the first works of the bride of Christ? To love her husband and personally minister to Him. To give both her heart and body to Him and Him only (Romans 12:1 KJV). We can see this Satanic perversion of the love relationship evident in many earthly marriages as well. At some point a switch begins to takes place, the focus of the relationship subtly changes from the love between the man and woman to the works they do for each other, often without either of them even noticing.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Matthew 7:22-23 (KJV)

Married folks, do you do things for your mate because you love them? Or do you love them because you do things for them? This is an important distinction that cuts to the heart of this matter.

Jezebel is a perfect example of just how perverted our love can become when taken to the other extreme. With Christ as our Husband we do good works as a natural result of our love for Him, but a Jezebel's love has been perverted. She believes her husband loves her because he buys her things. The husband of a Jezebel has to constantly prove his love by providing her with material wealth. Be warned, Christ will not be joined to a harlot.

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Jeremiah 17:10 (KJV)

Nothing concerning our heart escapes Christ notice; it is stripped bare to His eye. Good works are a wonderful thing, however they are worthless if done to prove our love to Him or somehow attempt to earn our salvation. We must examine our hearts on this matter and ask God to reveal the intentions of our hearts to us.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mark 13:13 (KJV)

Besides ministering to Christ our 'first works' also consist of sharing the gospel with others and warning them when they are on the wrong path. This is another area where many who profess a belief in Christ utterly fail. The bible clearly tells us we will suffer persecution and be hated by all men for His name's sake. So how do they avoid this? If we suffer for His name's sake they just take His name out of the equation completely!

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 10:33 (KJV)

These will gladly donate money, feed the hungry, minister to the sick and do every other wonderful work imaginable, but deny His name by not sharing the gospel with them. They think they have found a loophole, there will indeed be many crooked 'Philadelphia lawyers' who will stand before God's throne on Judgment day.

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11 (KJV)

We must remember our first love and do the first works, these are the foundation of our salvation. It is only once our foundation is secure in Christ that the other works count towards our eternal reward. Good works done without Christ's involvement will be burned with fire (1 Corinthians 3:13-14 KJV).

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