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Forsaking the Love of God

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by gregjgordon, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. gregjgordon

    gregjgordon New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. - Revelation 2:4

    Over the years we hear many explanations of the reasons why our Lord spoke so strongly to the Ephesian Church about their loss of their "first love." Our Lord summed up the entire Old Testament in one sentence, paraphrased: "Love God and Love Others." This love has action and proof to it. Intense and sincere devotion to Jesus Christ will produce a life of godliness and good works. Jesus was calling his Church back to practical worship, godliness and a denying of worldliness. They had hatred of evil, endured persecution in their society (Revelation 2:3), were able to spot false teachers and doctrines (Revelation 2:2) and even hated the major evil doctrine of the day taught by the deacon Nicolas (Revelation 2:6). Yet slowly love of pleasures were mingling into their affections for Jesus Christ alone. They passion they had for Him and Him alone was beginning to wane. Their looking to the cross and seeing the "lover of their souls" was something that lost its luster at least for a moment.

    Nicolas began as a full-hearted believer full of the Spirit of God (Acts 6:2-6). Yet slowly through self-importance he went away from the teaching of the Apostles and formed his own teaching and way. David Wilkerson says of Nicolas of Antoich, "The church fathers had two cardinal rules for believers - do not eat meat offered to idols and avoid fornication. Nicolas evidently fathered a doctrine that led to idolatry and fornication. The society of that day winked at sexual promiscuity. Nicolas and his followers invented a doctrine of false security that eventuated in mixture with the world and an undercurrent of sensuality in their teaching." Clement of Alexandria said of the Nicolaitans, "They abandoned themselves to pleasures like goats, in a life of shameless self indulgence."

    How do we not lose and forsake our love for the Son of God:

    1. Look to Him alone for nothing else but Him. It is God that is our goal, not success, money, fame or anything else the world can offer. Give God your love and worship.

    2. Pleasures are always fighting us for our affection for Jesus Christ. Our worship for Him must overcome and let Him be our satisfaction not passing worldly pleasures.

    3. Look to the cross. It is there you find meaning, fulfillment, peace, joy and life eternal. Meditate on the cross. Daily thank the Lord for His death.

    4. Look to yourself more then others. Instead of seeing others faults, look to your own. See the apostate deacon Nicolas in the early church as a warning sign to look inward in your own life. Are you submitting to what is the apostles doctrines today? Are you believing what the Church has always held to or are you trying to make your new teachings and ideas? The road to apostasy always begins with the separation from the people of God which leads to a leaving of God Himself.

    5. Love others, find ways to do good to others. Think of others more then yourself. And you will find peace.
     
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  2. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    I tend to think that we can be hypercritical in our assessment of our commitment and love towards God. The 'never good enough' syndrome promoted many theatrical big tent revivals and alter calls, throughout church history. I understand what you are trying to say in the OP and I agree with you in measure. Unfortunately, I have the habit of mistaking the state of 'falling in love' and the state of 'being in love'; they are different. Being in this relationship with Christ for the long term, takes on a maturity that can be derailed by do-overs.
     
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  3. "ByGrace"

    "ByGrace" Well-Known Member

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    Thank you..a good post and good reminder..we always need reminders.

    I also took to heart what @aspen said...good balance.
     
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  4. Garrison

    Garrison Member

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    Tell us what you do to:

    1.) Love God.

    2.) Love Others As You Love Yourself.
     
  5. pia

    pia Well-Known Member

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    It is clear that you are very learned in relation to what has been written by various people since Jesus' death and resurrection, you have included things in your post I have never even heard of, but then I have not had any official Bible teaching, as such....
    If you are at all interested I can share with you what Jesus had to say to me in relation to the cross ? He spoke of us having to let Him off the cross, reminding me that He is no longer there, and on top of that He made me see, that it had never been a good idea to use the cross as a symbol for our faith in Him, considering that He despised the shame of it, and that He did it only in order to pay for all of our sins and to set right, what Adam had lost for humankind.
    As far as thanking Him daily for His death, I think I sort of understand where you are coming from with that, but I would rather thank Him for His Life, the resurrected Life in which we are offered a partnership. If all we ever do is look to the cross, how are we supposed to go to KNOW Him in the power of His resurrection? In my opinion there is far too much emphasis put on His death upon the cross, and not nearly enough on what happened after that, what He went through after he took His last breath, up until He was once again by His Fathers side, and then onward from there to us having a real bone fide relationship with Him, and not like someone who is having a long distance 'pen pal' or 'blind date' relationship with Him.
    It has not ceased to amaze me over these past 33 years or so, just how many people I have met who call themselves Christians, but who completely baulk at the idea of Him actually being a REAL being, who is able to interact with us. I find that most perplexing !
    Peace and blessings in Him Pia
     
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  6. Woman On A Mission

    Woman On A Mission New Member

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    Hi "gregjgordon" thank you for your post.
    THIS IS NOT SCRIPTURAL

    1: "Look to the cross. It is there you find meaning, fulfillment, peace, joy and life eternal. Meditate on the cross. Daily thank the Lord for His death. "gregjgordon'

    FULFILLMENT: Romans 13:10, "Love does no wrong to a neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.

    PEACE: Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    JOY: Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

    LIFE ETERNAL: 1 John 5:13, I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

    MEDITATE: Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

    Deuteronomy 12:3,
    "And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place 4, Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.

    Exodus 20:4, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5, Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and forth generation of them that hate me.

    "According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, records: "From its simplicity of form, the cross has been used both as a religious symbol and as an ornament, from the dawn of man's civilisation. Various objects, dating from periods long anterior [preceding] to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses o different designs, in almost every part of the old world." (Vol. 7, p.506).

    The Bible is very clear that God forbids the practice of mixing elements of pagan beliefs and practice with the worship of the true God. Deuteronomy 12:30, Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31, Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD,, which He hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 32, What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, or diminish from it.

    "It was not until the time of Constantine that the cross was publicly used as the symbol of the Christian religion. Under Constantine it became the acknowledged symbol of Christianity" (11th edition, Vol.7. p.506) Constantine ruled the Roman Empire more than 250 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Exodus 20:4, "You shall not make for yourself any carved image."




     
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  7. Garrison

    Garrison Member

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    Excellent information.
     
  8. DPMartin

    DPMartin Active Member

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    gregjgordon

    you can thank the Lord for His death, but I thank Him for His Life given to us. the Cross was the required way to give that Life.

    it seems you might not understand human nature, human nature is at fault, you, me, all humans living the life given in the flesh. the fault is that it's not God's nature, that is the Life originally given to Adam and Eve that was "lost". hence as long as one is in the this flesh the fault is there, even when one is born again. hence Paul's advise to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

    and when it comes to love, every body has their own views of what love is, and that converts to their own views of what God is and what "love thy neighbor" is. and the world is full of those theories and theologies especially the churches.

    when King David was loving the Lord his God and the people of Israel was he loving the philistines when he was slaughtering them by the tens of thousands? when Jesus was whipping and throwing the things of the money changers was He showing them God's loving kindness?
     
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  9. Garrison

    Garrison Member

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    The Cross no longer exists. It is not even in Heaven. Therefore, it is not possible for any highly speculative heart to "go to the Cross" for any purpose. Praise God. The work on the Cross "Is Finished!" Just as Jesus declared.
     
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  10. DPMartin

    DPMartin Active Member

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    in respect to the Truth you are correct, but in respect to the Gospel preached to the not yet saved

    1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.


    the Cross is what it is because of Christ, but the Life that endured that experience, and now sits at the Right Hand of Power is what we have received by the will of God in His Holy Spirit. creation is for the living not the dead. so to embellish death is in error, because that is exactly what Jesus defeated on the Cross, was death, because He lives and never died though the body He dwelled in did only for the time appointed. the life of the body was removed from the body (blood) but the Life of Christ remained alive.
     
  11. Garrison

    Garrison Member

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    I see. You wonderfully state the Truth and the Gospel are not the same, by using the word, "but."

    Tell me, where is the Cross, and how does one "come to it?" Within one's faith imagination? State exactly how to "come to the Cross" without using hyperboli or far stretched symbolism not spoken by Christ.

    Jesus never spoke of coming to His Cross, rather He commanded His People to take up their own crosses. Is there a good reason to ignore this as written?
     
  12. DPMartin

    DPMartin Active Member

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    well Paul was assigned Apostle to the Gentiles and how he describes how the Cross should be seen, or looked to, is sufficient. Jesus surly said take up thy cross, but it is His Life that is received via the Holy Spirit and His Life in this world lead to the Cross didn't it? therefore the Cross is a reality, no matter how you slice it.
     
  13. Garrison

    Garrison Member

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    Tell me how you bear your cross. What do you actually do?
     
  14. "ByGrace"

    "ByGrace" Well-Known Member

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    WHY??

    If you do not know, then obviously there is something wrong with your relationship with the Lord.!!
    I have yet to find, in all of your 65 posts, just ONE single positive, uplifting, genuine friendly thing said.
    Every post of yours has 'an edge' to it, is negative or divisive ...and just trying to cause upset and bringing a negative atmosphere on the site.
    The thing is, people are not fooled. It 'may be' entertaining for some for a short while..but you aren't the first, and you sure wont be the last..they come..but , when they just get ignored...they float away and find some other Site to drag down to their level.
    We know that spirit. We are not fooled by it.

    God wins every time! ✟
     
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  15. Garrison

    Garrison Member

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    Is this your avoidance of stating how you bear your cross?

    Tell me, was Jesus being positive and uplifting when He called the begging Greek Syrophoenician Woman a "dog?" Lol. Jesus constantly got into the faces of people. He encouraged no one. He spoke axiomatic statements of The Law.
     
  16. "ByGrace"

    "ByGrace" Well-Known Member

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    ..

    ..

    ..

    +++++++++++++++++++++
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
     
  17. Garrison

    Garrison Member

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    Thank you for verifying how intuitive thoughts are inarticulate, not at all indicative of "The Word Incarnate."
     
  18. twinc

    twinc Member

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    it seems just as stated, by Jesus, the cross is not only a stumbling block for the Jews but also for, so called, Christians and the stone[Peter]a stone of stumbling - the crucifix and all it stands for and foretells has been replaced by two pieces of dead wood - twinc
     
  19. "ByGrace"

    "ByGrace" Well-Known Member

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    Backward...the "two large pieces of dead wood"...came long before your 'crucifix' twinc. ✟
     
  20. Woman On A Mission

    Woman On A Mission New Member

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    Hi Garrison, Good morning from Brisbane Australia.

    I'm not here to put my beliefs on anyone. I am only sharing what my understanding of the Scriptures.

    THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP: According to Luke 14:26, Jesus said "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be My disciple. 27, And whoever does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple. 28, Which of you wishing to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost to see if he has he resources o complete it?

    Sees also Luke 14:33, "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything you have, he cannot be my disciple."

    It is about what we must be prepared to do to follow Jesus. Giving up everything, even our own lives for Him.

    As His followers, are we willing to place Him first in our lives, everything, before our parents, families, friends, the most important people in our lives in second place?

    Jesus put Himself in our place, He took upon Himself our sin, sickness and disease, that we would not have to die in our sin and spend eternity in hell.
    ISAIAH 53:3, He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. 4, Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken smitten of God, and afflicted. 5, But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we are healed. 6, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7, He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not his mouth. 8, He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of th land of he living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken. 9, And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. 10, Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His sou an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11, He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for He shall bear their iniquities. 12, Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

    Ephesians 4:32, Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.


    Are we willing to do that? Are we willing to follow Jesus at all costs, family, friends, money, status, Jobs etc., etc., . Jesus gave up His life to take our place which literally would have meant that He made the horrific sacrifice for our sins, that we could have eternal life, our sins washed clean in His blood, then how hard should it be to follow in His footsteps and his example.

    I Know from personal experience that it can be/and is hard from time to time. My Christian walk has not been all a bed of roses. There have been many struggles, trials and temptations. Painful experiences of losing loved ones to death, through sickness.

    I have had to carry my cross for the sake of the gospel. My husband and I did street ministry in New Zealand, (our home country) for fifteen years. and here in Australia, for the past 10 years. My husband has been verbally threated, and people threating us face to face confrontations for the sake of the Gospel.

    But praise God I/We have come through and will continue to come through. ONLY WITH THE HELP OF OUR/MY PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOUR.

    John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you." 15: "No longer do I all you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you". Amen!

    Psalm 103: 12, He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west.

    Isaiah 43:25, "I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will remember not your sins.

    Micah 7:19, He will again have compassion on us, He will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

    I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THIS SONG WITH WHOM-SO-EVER READS THIS.
    MAY GOD BE GLORIFIED THROUGH OUR TESTIMONIES, OUR LIVES, MINISTRY.​
    John 15:4, "Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me". 5, "I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in Him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing".


     
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