*Sermon:* First things First; Rekindle the Flame
*Scripture:* Revelation 2.1-7
*Theme:* Come back to Your first love.
o 1924 World Series
o Matthew 7.21-23
Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV) \\ /21 //“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
//22 //Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
//23 //Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.
Away from me, you evildoers!’/
o Knowing Christ….. Meeting Him on first base….. first things first.
o Jesus exposed those people who sounded religious but had no personal relationship with Him
o We can focus on *2nd* & *3rd *and even *Home*….
If we do not know Him we will be out at home plate.
o /“And not everyone who talks about heaven belongs to God’s Kingdom.
o */Jesus is more concerned about our walk than our talk.”/*
o It’s our actions; it’s what we do that defines us.
o /“He wants us to do right, not just say the right words.//
o */Your house/*/ (which represents your life, 7:24) will withstand the storms of life only if you do what is right instead of just talking about it.”/
o à à ~*~* *George Pierceson* ~*~* ß ß
§ He talked… about how people should and shouldn’t be.
§ Always look on the outside.
Until came to know Jesus.
o /On “judgement day” only our relationship with Christ – our acceptance of Him as Savior and our obedience to Him – will matter./
o /“What you do cannot be separated from what you believe.”/
o Fire went out.
àHow do we *“rekindle the fire”?*
o à Ephesus was a center of land and sea trade, for three major land-trade routes converged in the city, and a large port sat on its coast on the Aegean Sea.
o *7 Stars* à Angels among the Churches.
§ *Right hand* = Christ Control of everything.
o “walk among the *7* *golden lampstands.*
o *Verse 2* à know deeds, hard work, patient endurance, intolerance of evil people, examining the claims of false apostles, and how they patiently suffered.
o *Active Church*
§ Youth Group
§ Community Service
§ Sabbath School Classes
§ Children Program
o *Theologically Correct Church*
§ Revelation Seminars
§ Daniel Seminars
§ Cooking Schools
§ All the right programs
/All of these characteristics show a church busy with good works and suffering willingly for the cause of Christ./
/The message to the church in Ephesus shows that false teachers had indeed come in among the believers, but Christ commended them for discovering and weeding out the liars./
*Lost first love **à** Need to “Rekindle the Flame”*
o Revelation 2.4 /“Forsaken~/Lost your first love”/
o *Ephesians 1.5*
/For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,/
o /In the battle to maintain sound teaching and moral and doctrinal purity, it is possible to lose a charitable spirit./
LAC RV 2.4
o How did this happen to the Ephesians Church?
§ /The “Ephesus problem” happens quietly and by gradual, imperceptible shifts of focus./
(PR Rv 2.1-7)
o Have you lost your first love?
o Lost that relationship with Christ
o How do we know that we love God?
o How do we know how much we love God?
o How do we maintain that relationship with Him?
*1 John 4.19-21*
o 19 à *God’s love* is the *source of all human love*,
§ and it spreads like fire.
§ In loving his children, God kindles a flame in their hearts.
§ In turn, they love others, who are warmed by God’s love through them
o Undesirable people
o The Unlovable
o Olivehurst à feed the homeless…..
Not at church… Might start coming.
o *Car Jacking Foiled – The Art Auction – Finish the Race*
*Revelation 2:1-7* (NIV) \\ */2/*/ “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: /
/These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: //2 //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.
//6 //But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
/7 //He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
*1 John 4.19-21*
/19 //We love because he first loved us.
20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.
For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
*1 John 4.7-12*
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.