Church with Truth But No Romance, Part 1 – Revelation 2:1-7


No one wants a marriage where the food is great, the decor is stylish, and a check list of chores is always fulfilled, but there is no passionate love. The same is true when it comes to church. When the glorified, King-Priest Jesus walked through the Ephesian group of believers near the end of the first century their doctrine was pure, their church programs were running smoothly, and when it came to good works, they got an A. But Jesus said he had this against them, “They had left their first love.” Jesus told us that the way we renew our intimacy with Him is the same way we rekindle the passion in our marriages. So, I need to take the time in my marriage to remember how Mary and I fell in love, the experiences of our early years at Houghton College, then Dallas Seminary, and then, all the experiences of the births and raising of our kids. We need to do the same thing in our relationship with Jesus. We need to take the time to remember how we met Him, how we trusted Him, and all the moments of grace we have had with Him. We need to allow His Spirit to pour new passion into our closeness to Him. Take the time to read the letter to the church of Ephesus and let the Lord rekindle your first love.

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Ask a couple if they are meeting every day face to face and connecting, and if they answer, “yes,” then you will know they have a healthy, alive marriage. The same is true in our intimacy with Jesus. We need to let him talk to us every day as we read his Word and we need to connect with him in prayer. Lovers want to be alone together. It’s just the way it is. If we don’t want to be alone with Jesus, if we don’t want to listen to him, if we don’t want to spend time with him, we need to get honest and admit that we’ve lost our first love. And then, allow Jesus to rekindle the closeness as we set a time every day when we will get alone with him.

For more from Dave Wyrtzen, visit


American churches have never had more material wealth and prestige. Mega churches boast gorgeous campuses and thousands in attendance. Crowds flock to the latest church growth seminars to learn the secrets of success in the ministry. Now, imagine a church that is on the verge of extinction, not because they are locked in tradition or have lost their vision, but because their members have had their belongings and property confiscated. Some of their major leaders are in prison and some will face martyrdom. What chance does this small body have of making an impact on their city for Christ? In about AD95 the church in Smyrna was experiencing persecution and they were small in numbers, yet in Revelation 2 Jesus gives us his report as he did his inspection tour of the Church of Smyrna. Now some of the other churches were much larger and had money, but Jesus had nothing but good to say about a church that we might ignore. Read Revelation 2:8ff to discover a church that looked like it was dirt poor, but in fact was filthy rich.

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Imagine trying to worship Jesus in a city that bowed before their political leaders and even made your success in business connected with worshiping idolatrous statues of false gods. This is the challenge the believers at Pergamum faced near the end of the first century. Jesus planted a church in a city where Satan, himself, was enthroned. Pergamum was the center of the Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor, and Jesus planted a church in this city to counter evil with His grace. “The only way to live a godly life is to build high walls around your church and family.” Many believers adopt this isolationist mentality, but the risen Christ planted a church at the foot of Satan throne—in the heart of the city where the Imperial Cult flexed its muscles. Take some time to read Revelation 2:12-17 and learn about the Church of Pergamum: The Church Built at Satan’s Throne.

For more from Dave Wyrtzen, visit

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