2/12/10 V. 1, “To the angel…” Obviously these letters were written to the people in the seven churches. So when each begins “To the angel in…” the angel refers to the people who are the messengers. The three angels later in Rev 14 are the same situation–God’s people as messengers. “The one who holds [you] in his right hand and the one who walks among [his church] says…”
V. 2, Jesus is proud of the way they are working and persevering even in difficult circumstances. He appreciates that they don’t allow evil to exist among them unopposed. He appreciates that they test those who desire to be messengers for him but when they are not abiding in Jesus they are understood to be false.
V. 3, God obviously places great value in enduring hard work for his sake.
V. 4, Still, though, in spite of the hard work and endurance they had lost their first love. First love is frantic about pleasing, enthusiastic about sharing, desperate for deepening relationship, joyful in being together. First love thinks of very little else beyond the love. Basic necessities and necessary decisions are made but all of life revolves around the relationship. That’s what first love looks like and that is what we have lost–or have never even had in some cases.
V. 5, God calls us to recall first love, remember the honeymoon when he was all to us. Repent by returning to that place and begin to act like you did then. If we don’t we will not continue to have a church. God will not allow an unlit lampstand to continue to stand silent. Such a situation of less than first love is a matter of repentance.
V. 6, As a good lover he doesn’t end on a negative note. He voices his appreciation that they hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans who claimed that deeds don’t affect the soul. They felt that one can do anything without risking salvation.
V. 7, “He who has an ear, spiritually speaking, pay attention to what the Spirit is saying here. If we will overcome this sort of condition of relaxing our love we will be rewarded eternal life with God.