In 1965 the Righteous Brothers released their iconic song, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” Years later, in 1986, this song would be immortalized by a couple of characters names Mavic and Goose in the hit movie, “Top Gun!” Wikipedia indicates, “In December 1999, the performing rights organization Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) ranked the song as the most-played song on American radio and television in the 20th century, having accumulated more than 8 million airplays by 1999, and nearly 15 million by 2011.” It just so happens that this song is my mom’s favorite song as well.
The opening verse of the song tells the tale:
“You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips
And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips
You’re trying hard not to show it, (baby)
But baby, baby I know it
Although the reference is between two people, the impact is the same, there once was love, but now there’s not.
Similarly, in the opening of his letter, John records the words of Jesus to the church in Ephesus. Revelation 2:4-5 (NLT) 4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen!
Jesus is saying to the church in Ephesus, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin;” and if you’re not careful it will be “gone…gone…gone…woah.”
Now in Chapter 2 we see the initial list of four churches out of seven that John references. It’s important to remember that Jesus is speaking of, and John is writing to, real churches in real cities. We can look at these churches from three perspectives:
Prophetically, these churches seem to represent different stages of the church over the last 2,000 years. If this is true, then the church at Ephesus represents the time period between the Day of Pentecost and 100 AD. This was a time of great expansion for the early church. But, it was also a time when some began to lose their zeal and fervency.
Practically, these letters were sent to literal, real congregations that were functioning at the close of the First Century. While they were written to real churches existing in that day, they still speak to every church in existence today. God has a word for your Church in these verses!
Personally, these letters speak to congregations, but we should also be mindful that the Lord has a word for the individual in these letters as well. He has something to say to you and me about our relationship with Him.
So we understand that the church in Ephesus lost their love and feelin,’ but we also need to look at the remedy proposed by Jesus.
Revelation 2:4b-6 (NLT) Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6 But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.
7 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.
Steps to Rekindling the Fire of your Faith
When referencing the church in Ephesus, Jesus indicates through John that he has both good things and bad things for the church. He encourages them with the things they’re doing well, but he also encourages them to work on the things that aren’t going well. The “work on” part is the part I want to end on.
It’s not uncommon for the flame of our faith to wax and wane. I don’t recommend that your faith remains in the embers, but Jesus does give instructions on how to fan it back into flame.
Step #1 Turn back to Jesus (Repent)
Step #2 Do the works you did at first
Step #3 Hate the evil deeds of the people distracting from Jesus
Step #4 Listen to the Spirit
Each of us has an opportunity to learn from the situation of the Ephesians. Talk to God today and allow him to challenge your heart.