Jesus told the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:4…
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
What was this first love He said they left? Was it their love for Him, Jesus? In context, the previous two verses completely dispel that thought…
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.”
So if they weren’t guilty of not loving the Lord, who were they guilty of not loving? Who was this “first love” they had forsaken?
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
The love in the church of Ephesus had grown cold because they had lost the burning desire to win the lost to Christ and to reach OUTWARD instead of inward. They had retreated from the Great Commission. The people had become so lawless in their day that they had the attitude of “why bother?” Ephesus had turned inwardly to their core group of believers as being their focus, and had grown cold to the Spirit born love for the lost souls around them.
Ruins at Ephesus, Turkey
Jesus warned them to recognize how they had fallen away from having His heart and to turn it around or else they’d be cut off from His salvation.
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
This is rampant still today. Many are content with their respective church attendance, their routine lifestyle in what they consider service to God, etc…just like Ephesus. And just like Ephesus will be abandoned by Christ unless this lukewarm love is repented of and changed in actions.