Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

True New Testament Revival: Getting Back to Our First Love, Part 8 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #286)


A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”

In our series of homilies from the book of Ephesians, we focused on reviving Christian families. Now, I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages from the book of Revelation, specifically targeted at reviving the church. If our country is to be awakened, the family and the church must be revived first.


TEXT: Revelation 2:1-7:

1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

5 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.

6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.

7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

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A.W. Tozer said, “When a preacher who fits the mold of the prophets of old comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce, and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “AIl you have to do is decide to walk a little closer to God and you’ll be criticized more in the church than in the bar down the street.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “James Alexander Haldane and his brother Robert were well-known revivalists in their native Scotland in the early 1800s, but their greatest work was accomplished in Geneva, Switzerland, with much smaller crowds. The latter work was greater because in the long run it had a much wider and longer influence in reviving God’s people. The brothers attracted large crowds to hear the preaching of the gospel in Scotland, but these weren’t crusades in the usual sense of the word. Although the two brothers never formally organized their converts into churches, their assemblies were for all intents and purposes the megachurches of that day.”

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In His letter, Jesus clearly explained how the church at Ephesus — and any Christian today — can get back to their first love. They must remember, repent, and repeat the first works. But what happens if a church does not take these steps? Jesus told the Ephesian church, “I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

I don’t know about you, but the prospect of a church’s “candlestick” being removed is frightening. What does the Lord mean? Jesus is saying that if the Ephesian church does not get back to their first love and begin doing the first works, they will soon cease to be considered a church of Jesus Christ. In other words, their “light” will flicker out. Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “In spite of the privileges it had enjoyed, the church of Ephesus was in danger of losing its light! The church that loses its love will soon lose its light, no matter how doctrinally sound it may be. ‘I will come and remove thy candlestick’ is not referring to the Lord’s return, but to His coming judgment then and there. The glorious city of Ephesus is today but a heap of stones and no light is shining there.”

If a church loses its first love for Jesus Christ and the things of God, it will soon no longer be able to adequately and sincerely shine a light in its environment. The reason why is because Jesus is the light of the world and His light will not shine through us unless we truly love Him. How many churches are losing their light, losing their testimony, and losing their effectiveness because they have lost their first love for Jesus and for the things of God? Unfortunately, statistics show that there are many. Numerous Christian denominations in America today are lamenting the decline of their churches. The cause of this decline is not, as some might think, bad outreach strategy or bad organization but simply the fact that those in the church have lost their first love for God, are no longer doing the first works that they used to do, and are no longer preaching the Gospel and the plain teaching of Scripture as it was once delivered to the saints. You might be surprised, but statistics actually bear this out.

According to data that is being published this month in the Review of Religious Research, churches that hold to traditional Christian beliefs and that are more diligent in practices such as prayer, Bible reading, and the application of the word of God to everyday life are GROWING. So-called “mainline” churches that do not hold to these practices as much are DECLINING.

Further, among declining churches, only 19% of PASTORS read their Bibles every day, only 50% believe it is “very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians,” and only 56% agree that “Jesus rose from the dead with a real, flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb.” Whereas among growing churches, 71% of pastors read their Bibles every day, 93% of pastors agree that “Jesus rose from the dead with a real, flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb,” and 100% believe it is “very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians.”

Similar numbers are carried out across the board in England, in Europe, and in Canada. Such numbers clearly show that churches that have abandoned their first love and that no longer do the first works are slowly losing their light. Their candlesticks are being snuffed out as they no longer have a valid witness for Jesus Christ in their communities. Each of us as individual believers ought to personally remember, repent, and repeat the first works so that we can save our local churches from a similar fate.

Let’s pray.

Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Revival Prayer List

PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES

Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

— Jordan
Please give Jordan, Eleanor, Kyle, Kylen, Kayden spiritual, emotional and physical healing

— Milton in Kampala, Uganda, Africa
Please provide his ministry, African Child In Need, with the support it needs and education and loving care for the children

— Kristofer in Kingston, Jamaica
Please heal him of schizophrenia, all mental issues, depression, suicidal thoughts, and guilt
Make him the real man You want him to be
Make him be successful in school and to make the right decisions

— Yenisel
Please help all cyber bullying to stop, help her husband to be a great father and husband, provide them with a good church home

— Jim in Copperbelt Province, Zambia
Please bless him with a good job, and help him to go to college

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PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS

Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

Leaders of the Southern Baptist Church

Dhati Lewis
Tim Wheat
Dino Senesi
Steve Davis
Steve Bass
Jeff Christopherson
Brian Allen
Ken Crittenden
Barbara Evers
Julie Walters

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PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS

1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

IDAHO STATE LEGISLATURE

Mathew Erpelding
John Gannon
Terry Gestrin
Marc Gibbs
Steven Harris
Stephen Hartgen
Brandon A. Hixon
James Holtzclaw
Wendy Horman
Paulette E. Jordan