Randy Haapala | The Voice of Zion September 2017 --
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. —Rev. 2:5
The apostle John during his exile on the Isle of Patmos had seen many visions, and many things were revealed to him. This portion of Scripture speaks to us of a very important matter in living faith. The essence of battling against the enemy of souls is to continually put sin away as it attaches.
The First Love
Before this text, John reminds us of the first love that we own, that is for God, the Father, and for the congregation, our spiritual Mother. God has gifted each child born into this world with the Holy Spirit, of which love is a characteristic. The enemy of souls knows of this first love, and this is what he tries to remove from us.
Dear child of God, we have been given a great gift from our Heavenly Father. These words remind us what to do when we fall into sin. This is the battle that we wage. We often fall and are overcome by sin, sometimes grievous sins, but this portion reminds us that we don’t need to remain in sin, but rather, need to repent and believe our sins forgiven in Jesus’ name and blood. The Holy Spirit continues to dwell in the heart of one who keeps faith and a good conscience. By living so, love toward God and fellow brothers and sisters in faith is cared for. This is the love we desire to remain in.
Why does God’s Word remind us in this way? It is for this reason that He can come quickly to take us away, when we least expect it. This is the endeavor of faith, battling the threefold enemy. If a servant of God loses sight of this battle and doesn’t himself heed God’s Word, his preaching and teaching can cleverly lead others astray, too. Sometimes entire congregations have disappeared where once the light of God’s Word had shown brightly. In this case, the candlestick of God’s kingdom is removed out of its place. In its place comes the teaching of either the wrong doctrine of freedom of the flesh or self-righteousness of the Law that are disguised as the gospel. Where once the living gospel was proclaimed only a lifeless imitation of it is found. The kingdom of God doesn’t return to such localities which have rejected it.
Goal of Heaven
Dear child of God, we are on the road to heaven! The battle of faith is worth it. The shores of heaven await those who continually travel by faith living of the precious gospel of the forgiveness of sins. It pays to believe this simple message, daily putting sins away so the conscience remains soft and tender and the goal of heaven remains clear and beautiful.