2017-10-24 First love
ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
October 24, 2017
This is a letter to our friends –
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;” [Revelation 2:4–5]
I believe the Lord lead Marshall Foster to open his keynote address at the “Honoring The Vision” event with a discussion of Christ’s letter to the church in Ephesus. Marshall pointed out that the Ephesian church was among the most successful churches in the Bible. – But – Christ was concerned because they had lost their first love.
Like the Ephesians we Americans have seen the Lord do many great works. American missionary efforts have dwarfed those of any other nation. American Christian principles have inspired hope throughout the world. And like the Ephesians, God has blessed us.
Nevertheless, like the Ephesian Christians, we have left our first love.
The cross represents Christ’s summary of God’s goal for humanity – Learn to love God and to love others. Love God (vertical) and love others (horizontal) – The Christian cross. We call our vertical relationship, “church”. We call the horizontal relationship, “government”.
Throughout human history every society develops a vertical relationship with some “higher power”, a god of some sort, or the God of creation. Further – The corporate quality of that vertical relationship – church – will always determine the quality of the horizontal relationship – government. Never the other way around.
“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,” “Make America great again” would have made no sense unless the public were aware of our having “left our first love.” Every new day more corruption and just plain evil is revealed. The quality of American government has fallen way down!
If the quality of the horizontal (government) is determined by the quality of the vertical (church) – Where must we go to find root causes and lasting solutions? Were we to have divine help in electing Spirit-filled, glow in the dark Christians to every elected office, then staff those offices with equally qualified workers, I believe the nation would be in seven times worse shape in only a few election cycles.
Until we, “repent, and do the first works” and improve the quality of the “vertical” the “horizontal” will continue to degrade. All through human history God has demonstrated His love and sense of humor by raising up unlikely leaders. I have read historical sermons that touched thousands in their day. I thought to myself, “This man’s theology is out to lunch!” Then I read about the ladies who were in the basement under the pulpit praying. The preacher could have been reading the phone book out loud and as long as the ladies were praying the results would be the same!
So – What were the American churches first works? The documentation is extensive! Read the Colonial sermons. Read the Declaration. Read the original, not what someone has told you about them. The colonial church recognized that God was God and the church was responsible for the quality of the government.
Pastor and evangelist friend of mine – I believe that unless your message includes the horizontal as well as the vertical, you are only presenting half of the cross.
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