Heaven Is Our Destination Where We Will Be ONE With The Lord Forever

Today, we are in The Season Of The Last Generation. The Birth Pains that Christ Jesus spoke about are currently under way, including natural and unnatural disasters. They will be ever increasing. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. Social, economic and political turmoil will be ever increasing, causing people's hearts to be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life. An apostasy within the Church of God is currently under way. This will all reach a climax with Satan revealing his Antichrist and requiring that everyone worship him; That every one receive his "mark" in order to buy or sell; The new currency of the New World Order, the New Tower of Babel.

Today, it is critical that those who have a heart for God are aware of what God is doing and speaking today. God is opening up His Word like never before in preparation for The Time Of The END. I exhort you to open up your heart and your eyes to see what He is doing and your ears to hear what God is speaking at this time. My prayer is that we will be able to stand before the Son of Man at His appearing, without fault and with great joy. I encourage you to read David Wilkerson's book, America's Last Call at davidwilkersontoday.blogspot.com. Also, Google, Tommy Hicks Prophecy, 1961 for a view of the End Times.

Tom's books include: Called By Christ To Be ONE, The Time Of The END, The Season Of The Last Generation, Worship God In Spirit And In Truth, Daniel And The Time Of The END, and Overcoming The Evil One. They are available at amazon.com. They can also be read without cost by clicking on link: Toms Books.

Other publications by Tom at the same link include: You Are Unique In Christ, Demonic Activity Increasing, America: A Nation Of Cowards, LIFE: Knowing The Voice Of God, The Earth Full Of Violence: Christ's Sign, Reality: The Realm Of The Spirit, What Is Detestable To God, America At The Crossroads, Many Are Invited but Few Are Chosen, Christian Beware, The Antichrist of Scripture, The Marks Of A Christian, The Apostasy/Rebellion, Satan's Scheme, The Anointing, The Good News, The Water of LIFE, The World Against Christ, The Commands Of Christ, America's New Civil War, America Is Cursed Because Of Its Abortion Murder, America Unprotected, America's Irreconcilable Differences, Evil Begets Evil, America's War Against Christ, America Is Babylon and IN Christ: There Are No Limitations.

To receive Christ Jesus as a child by faith is the highest human achievement.

Today, the Bride Of Christ is rising up in every nation in the world! Giving Glory to Her Savior and King, Christ Jesus!
Today, the world is Raging against God, Rushing toward Oblivion! Save yourself from this Corrupt Generation!
Today, America is being ground to powder because of it's SIN against God!

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Friday, May 12, 2017

WHAT WAS THE 'FIRST LOVE' THAT THE EPHESIANS HAD ABONDONED?

What Was The "First Love" That The Ephesians had Abandoned?


May 12, 2017 by Sam Storms - HELLO CHRISTIAN
Sam Storms
Sam Storms became the Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 2008. He is on the Board of Directors of both Desiring God and Bethlehem College & Seminary, and also serves as a member of the Council of The Gospel Coalition.  Sam was recently elected to be Vice-President of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Everyone is familiar with the indictment Jesus brings against the church in Ephesus concerning their fast fading love. “I have this against you,” said Jesus, “that you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Eph. 2:4).
There’s no agreement among scholars of Revelation as to what “love” the Ephesians had “abandoned” (ESV) or “left” (NAS). The answer depends in part on how one understands and translates the word “first”. Does it mean “first” in terms of time or chronology? That is the view embraced by the ESV, as they render it, “you have abandoned the love you had at first.” The idea would be that this is a “love” they experienced immediately after their conversion and during the early days of their Christian life. Although the ESV rendering doesn’t require it, the implication would be that the “love” they had abandoned was brotherly love, love for other Christians in the church.
Others argue that this love was “first” in the sense that it is the most important love that anyone can experience, that is to say, it is that primary love for the Lord Jesus Christ that comes before or takes precedence over all other loves in terms of value. This view is suggested by the NAS which translates, “you have left your first love.” Surely, if the emphasis is on that “love” which is of preeminent importance, that “love” which must be pursued above all other loves, it is love for Jesus himself.
In his epistle to the Ephesians, written some 30 years earlier, Paul mentioned the fervency of their love for one another (1:15-16) and concluded the letter with a blessing on those “who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible” (6:24). But now, these many years later, their zeal and passion had diminished. But which “love” had they now lost: love for one another or love for Jesus or perhaps love for both?
There are two contextual clues that may suggest the reference is primarily (but not exclusively) to “brotherly” love. 
First, how can it be that they’ve abandoned their love for Christ if in the immediately preceding verse (v. 3) Christ himself commends them for enduring patiently for his name’s sake? The latter words imply, if not require, the devotion and affection and love for Jesus that would inspire them to suffer for the sake of promoting and praising his name. If they didn’t fervently love Jesus, they wouldn’t have endured patiently for his name’s sake. And if their endurance wasn’t motivated by this affection, Jesus would hardly have commended them for it.
A second clue comes from what follows in v. 5. There, as a repentant antidote, so to speak, to their diminishing love, Jesus commands them to “do the works you did at first” (v. 5). This would more likely suggest that their lost love was love for one another that can be rekindled by deeds of kindness and compassion and self-sacrifice (see Romans 12:9-13; 1 John 3:11-18 and 4:7-21).
On the other hand, I’m not certain we have to choose between the two. Jesus may well have had both “loves” in view. That the decrease in love for Christ issues in a loss of love for our fellow-Christian is self-evident. In other words, I think Jesus could as easily have said to the Ephesians: “How dare you claim to love me at the same time you close your heart to a brother or sister in the body. And when you do love one another you demonstrate how much you love me [i.e., Jesus].” This is confirmed by what we read in Hebrews 6:10. There the author declares that they have shown “love” for God’s name “in serving the saints.”
What we see in the church at Ephesus, therefore, was how their desire for orthodoxy and the exclusion of error had created a climate of suspicion and mistrust in which brotherly love could no longer flourish. Their eager pursuit of truth had to some degree soured their affections one for another. It’s one thing not to “bear with those who are evil” (Rev. 2:2), but it’s another thing altogether when that intolerance carries over to your relationship with other Christ-loving Christians!
Our Lord does not leave the Ephesians and their problem without a solution. Note the three terse commands of v. 5. Before doing so, however, observe what he does not recommend: he does not suggest that they become theologically lax, tolerant of error, or indifferent toward truth! In other words, don’t try to cure one problem in a way that will create another.
So, then, here’s his counsel. First, “remember . . . from where you have fallen” (v. 5a). Here their love is pictured as a height from which they had descended. To remember is to reflect and meditate on the peak of brotherly affection they once enjoyed. Recall the former fervor and let the memory of its joys and satisfaction stir you again to mutual devotion. 
Second, “repent” (v. 5b). Simply put, stop . . . then start. Stop the cold-hearted disregard for one another (and for Jesus) and start cultivating that affection you formerly had. Third, “do”. In particular, do “the works you did at first” (cf. Heb. 6:10).
How important is it that the Ephesians (and we!) strive by God’s grace to cultivate and sustain a passionate affection for both Christ and Christian? I’ll let Jesus answer that question. If you don’t repent, he solemnly warns, “I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place” (Rev. 2:5).
What this means is that failure to comply will lead to the imminent termination of their influence or public witness as a body of believers (cf. 11:3-7,10; see also Mark 4:21; Lk. 8:16). The “coming” of Jesus in v. 5 is not the Second Advent at the end of history but a “coming” in preliminary judgment and discipline of this church (cf. 2:16; the Second Advent, however, is probably in view in 2:25 and 3:11). It may even be that Jesus is threatening the end of this congregation’s historical existence. I trust that such is enough to convince us all how important “love” is in the body of Christ!
This article was written by Sam Storms and originally appeared at his blog. Find it here.  
https://hellochristian.com/7599-what-was-the-first-love-that-the-ephesians-had-abandoned?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2017May12
My comments: To me, the First Love Christ speaks of, is the love we have for the One Who brought us from Death to LIFE--Chrsit Jesus. If we ever forget this, we will be Removed from His Kingdom--No amount of good works can remedy this Sin.