Q. I hope you can help me. My Pastor spoke on Rev. 2: 5. “Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Then he made the comment this is for you who believe in once saved always saved – your salvation can be revoked. I approached him about this and said I totally disagree.
My pastor is really open and expressed the opportunity to talk more with me about backing up this with scripture. I read your studies often and in total agreement with your thourghts about once saved always saved but what can I say to him? What does Rev. 2 verse 5 really mean?
A. This is an excerpt from my study on the overcomers.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Rev. 2:4-5,7)
By the end of the first century the Church had already become so busy doing religious works they had forgotten that the work of salvation was done and our primary purpose is to worship the Lord and give Him thanks. The relationship He gave His life to have with us was already becoming another religion. Those who changed their attitude and overcame the human tendency to earn our position with God, and rested in the fact that Jesus did it all would meet Him at the Tree of life in paradise. Therefore the overcomer was the one who rested in faith and devoted his or her energy to worshiping God. (You can read the whole study on the overcomers here)
Nowhere does this passage threaten the loss of an individual’s salvation. According to Rev. 1:20 the lampstand represents the church as an organization, not its individual members. The Lord was saying that if they didn’t repent, the Church in Ephesus would be uprooted. They didn’t, and it was. But those who identified themselves as true believers by resting in faith have met Him in Paradise, just like He promised. And so will we.