Candlestick Removed


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.” (Revelation 2:5)


The Apostle Paul came to Ephesus, a city of more than 225,000 people, on his third missionary journey. He preached the gospel in that place for over three years (Acts 18-20). Multitudes were converted by the grace of God. A gospel church was established, which quickly became a lighthouse for truth, from which the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ went forth into all the world. The church at Ephesus was devoted to Christ. It was known throughout the Christian world for its devotion to and zeal for Christ.


      But that local church, like so many since, is no more. Though it was, for many years, a faithful congregation, the Lord Jesus Christ discovered a very sad fault in the church at Ephesus. The pastor, the angel of the church, did not discern the fault. The people were unaware of it. But Christ saw it. Therefore, he sent a letter to the church (Revelation 2) to be read publicly in the assembly of the saints. How their hearts must have sunk when they read these words from the Savior — “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” — “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”


      Because the Ephesian church left its first love, because they found something more important to them than Christ, his gospel, and his glory, he removed the candlestick out of its place (Revelation 2:5). That great lighthouse became a den of darkness and withered away. What a loud word of warning that should be to us!


      The Church of God must and will stand until time shall be no more. But the candlestick is a piece of furniture in the house that may be removed without the least injury to the house. In other words, local churches, that includes you and me, are expendable. The only purpose for the existence of any local church is that it might be a pillar and ground of truth, holding forth the light of the gospel in this dark world for the glory of Christ. If it ceases to do that, the candlestick should and shall be removed out of its place.


      Let every local church and every believer be warned and take heed. Cling tenaciously, uncompromisingly to the “old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). Beware of any who would turn your heart from Christ and his gospel. Beware of any who would undermine the ministry of that man by whom God taught you the gospel and turn your affections away from him (Galatians 1:6; 4:15).


      Let no one move you away “from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached” to you by God’s faithful messenger to your soul. As those who followed Absalom to hell turned their backs upon faithful king David, who had given his life to Israel, I have seen many turn their backs upon men of proven faithfulness to their souls, men who devoted their lives to preaching the gospel to them, to follow a false prophet condescending from his high place, because he knew how to pipe and harp to itching ears.









Don Fortner



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