by Mike Ratliff
5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. Revelation 2:5 (NASB)
In yesterday’s post, What is the relationship of our Salvation with Repentance?, we saw that without repentance there is no salvation. In the passage I placed at the top of this post we see another element of repentance that is elemental for the spiritual health of believers.
In Revelation 2:5 our Lord Jesus Christ challenges the Ephesian believers, who had abandoned their first love for Him by commanding , “remember from where you have fallen, and repent…”. The Greek behind “remember,” mnēmoneuō, refers not only to the metal capability to recall something, but also “to be mindful” of it and “take [it] into account.” This is all in the present tense, yielding the idea of “keep remembering.” The Lord Jesus wanted the Ephesians to constantly take into account “from where [they] have fallen,” which implies two principles.
First, our Lord says in effect, “Remember where you came from.” One of the most beautiful verses in all of the Word of God appears in Isaiah 51:1.
1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
Who seek the LORD:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn
And to the quarry from which you were dug. Isaiah 51:1 (NASB)
To the nation of Israel, God then said in essence, “Remember your past; remember where you came from; remember your nation exists only because of My power that created that nation from an old man and an old woman who were beyond the age of child-bearing” (vv 2-3). Let us also remember what we were before God had mercy on us. We were, all of us, lost, hell-bound sinners! But God loved us, had mercy on us, and sent His only begotten Son to die in our place. As Paul told the Ephesians of their riches in Christ in chapters 1-3 of his epistle to them, we should make a habit of reading those chapters in our Christian life to remember what we have in Him.
Second, our Lord also says in effect, “Remember that the relationship you used to have.” My brethren, do you remember the joy, the thrill, and the peace you felt when you first came to Christ? Do you remember the hunger and thirst you had to know more about what God’s Word says? Many Christians have left that behind in favor of the values and priorities of the world. Others have abandoned it for the new, the novel, and the pragmatic, leaving behind doctrine and chasing after entertainment in the church service. Still others have allowed their Christian life to become “old hat,” just going through the motions. And, now we have a new threat to our faith called the Social Justice Gospel that those who have “lost their first love” fall for as they are made to feel guilty simply because they are told they are because of whatever social structure they are in or race they are. Then they use this new Social Justice Gospel to assuage their guilty conscience and, sadly, they have a new love that has nothing to do with the Gospel or our Lord Jesus Christ. No, it is a totally different religion.
Would that your relationship with the Saviour continue to be as close and personal today as it was on the day God had mercy on! In fact, it should be even more so.
Soli Deo Gloria!