Rev 2:1-6 ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
I. FIRST LOVE IS NOT ROMANTIC FEELING IT IS THE ONE THING
A. The revelation of the Love of God (First Love) cannot be reduced to some carnal romantic feeling, to chemistry or some biological reaction.
B. Literal Greek translation
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because love thy first (protos) thou hast left. Protos (pro’-tos) foremost (in time, place, order or importance)
C. The understanding and revelation of the ONE THING has been a mystery which has been hidden from generations of Protestants.
Our dedication has been to Churches, Denominations, Pastors and Leaders, Souls winning, Missions and busyness
II. THE IDENTITY THAT WE ARE THE BELOVED OF GOD GIVES US
A. Confidence in love
Rom 5:8-9 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Heb 10:19-22 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
B. Boldness in the day of judgment
1 John 4:17 Love has been perfected (matured) among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
Three lovers stuck with Jesus through the crucifixion. Mary Jesus mother, Mary Magdalene (one that Jesus said loved much), John (disciple that Jesus loved)
C. Love without Fear
1 John 4:18 there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
Mature love (perfect love) casts out (destroys):
The fear of man;
The fear of lack;
The fear of death; and
The fear of judgment.
All these fears bring torment, and are inconsistent with this perfect love.
III. THE IDENTITY OF BEING LOVED WILL KEEP US HIDDEN THE TIME OF TROUBLE
Ps 27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
Matt 11:16-17 «But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17 and saying: ‘We played the flute for you (wedding song), And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not lament (funeral dirge).’
Matt 11:4-6 Jesus answered and said to them, «Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.»