Rev 2:5 KJV – 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.
The Lord commended the church at Ephesus for many wonderful works of service to Him (vs 2-3). However, the Lord saw one area of sin within the church that would utterly destroy her ministry and her standing before God… the church had left her first love, Christ.
In this section of our text, we read about one of the results of a church who has left their first love. .. “I will remove thy candlestick out of his place.” For us to properly understand this statement, we need to remember its background context.
Keep in mind, in the preceding chapter John had been given a vision of Christ enjoying close fellowship with seven local churches on earth. This is symbolized in a vision of Christ standing in the middle of a circle of seven candlesticks (Rev 1:12-20).
Now, in our text for this morning, the Lord is telling one of these assemblies that, if they do not repent of their sin He would “remove thy candlestick out of his place”. In other words, He would remove their church out of his “circle of fellowship”. He would no longer commune with them, authorize them and use them for His glory. When they met they would claim to be one of His churches, but they would only be a “social club” lacking His power and presence in their midst.
In today’s time we would call this a “dead” church. We all have visited one from time to time. The people are going through the motions of worship, but God’s presence is not there. There is no concern for His will to be done, no fire within the church to do His bidding, no strength to continue on faithfully. They are drifting, they are serving out of habit, they are spiritually dead. May we all see the need to refrain from membership in these types of assemblies.
Also, we must keep in mind that a local church is made up on individual Christians. There is no such thing as a church that exists apart from its members. When the Lord tells this church that they need to make Him their first love He is talking to each and every member of the church. As each member put Him first in their life, it would result in the local church, as a body, placing Him first as well.
As individual Christians, we must make Him our first love, when we sin, the Lord breaks communion with us as well. Unconfessed sin in the life of a Christian does not result in a loss of salvation, but a loss of fellowship, communion and a close walk with Him.
King David, a man saved by God’s grace, understood this truth when he said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: “ (Psa 66:18 KJV).
In this text David clearly tells us that if we harbor sin in our lives our fellowship with the Lord is hindered.
Also, when he was spiritually awakened to the grave sin he had committed with Bathsheba, he said “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me [with thy] free spirit.” (Psalms 51:11-12)
In this request to the Lord, he is asking the Lord to not break fellowship with him, take the joy of his salvation from him, and take the empowerment and enabling of the indwelling Spirit from him. In this text he is not saying he would lose his salvation, but he is concerned about losing the communion, joy and empowerment of God in his life.
Folks, how important it is for us to take a moment ask God for His grace to reveal to us any unconfessed sin in our lives. May we stop and search our heart and lives for sin that is harbored within us. Then may we seek the Lord’s mercy as we confess our sin and renew a right spirit within us.
May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation: