“Nevertheless, I have something against you because you have lost your first love.” (Revelation 2:4)
On Sunday morning the preacher preaches to a captive audience, quoting bits and pieces from the Bible, skillfully averting any passages that may offend someone in the pews. Ears are tickled with funny stories and intellectual “aha!” moments, and the congregation is entertained. But where is the transforming power of the gospel? How did they lose their first love—-the passion of Jesus Christ?
There were so many programs and wonderful church picnics, something for everyone to get involved in. Why they even gave some of their offerings to feed the poor with enough money left over to pay for one of the best worship teams one could imagine! So many works done in the name of the church, but the name of Jesus was rarely mentioned. When did the church of Jesus Christ become the church of good works? When did they lose their first love?
In the book of Revelation Jesus reprimanded the church of Ephesus . Although they were doing good works in Jesus’ name, they lost their first love–the love of Jesus. He told them to repent or they would be excluded from future blessings in heaven. (Revelation 2:4-7)
Does this description fit your church? If it does, then do not be afraid to stand for the sake of the gospel. The apostle Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation….” (Romans 1:16)
The blood of Jesus must be preached (the cross), because the Bible tells us without the shed blood of Jesus there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22) And without the gospel being preached there is no power. When we get to heaven, I doubt if God will be asking us what works we did—only what works we did in His name.
This is serious, my friends. Take a stand and make a difference in your church. Know your Bible and if a doctrine does not line up with the Word of God, lovingly challenge the preacher who misquotes it. Respect people of different faiths who do not agree that the Bible is their authority, but if someone is preaching untruths from the Bible, then it is time for the church of Jesus Christ to stand up. Will you be one of the first in line? (Judy Whittaker)