2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
The New King James Version. (1982). (Re 2:2–4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
The corrective exhortation concerns the fact that, although they labored faithfully and showed discernment theologically, they had left their first love.
Notice He doesn’t say they lost their first love. He says they left it.…
Early on in the church, no doubt these people really loved each other. Their hearts were toward one another and their hands eager to help and assist one another. But something happened.
I’ve watched and been a part of churches as “holiness and purity” were achieved. However it was achieved at the price of love and fellowship and even friendship and families have been devoured at the altar of “holiness and purity”.
Could it be in our zeal to achieve “holiness” and to ensure purity we’ve succumbed to a rigid code that has caused us to be sour, brutal, cold and calculated and bitter. And at the end of our pursuit of our version of “holiness” are people who bruised, battered and wounded. Through that hurt people have withdrawn from the brotherhood (Revelation 1:9) of Christian fellowship, instead of a trustful eye, everything is viewed now through a suspicious eye.
It’s true when a pastor first comes in, there is friendship, fellowship, and unity. Then after a while, fellowship turns into bickering and friendship is now suspicion, and the first love is gone. All the purity and religion that you can muster will never replace the love and fellowship of the brethren.
It happens in the church, but it also happens in the family.
That young couple standing before their friends and family, deeply and madly in love, they pledge themselves to each other through vows. Then life begins to happen and coldness sweeps in. Soon forget the great love they had for each other.
You didn’t lose it, you left it. The first step in the deterioration of any relationship is the losing of the first love.
You can be faithful and disciplined but leave your love. You can state that you have never cheated on your spouse. Yet, still not show them the love that you had when you first got together.
The indictment was that they had left their first love.
We must be sober, vigilant, on guard in maintaining the same passion for Jesus and our spouses. If not we will leave it and those relationships will go from deterioration to devoured.