In the ancient city of Ephesus, home to the Temple of Artemis, a great church was established. In fact, the book of Ephesians was written to this church.
Ephesians is where we read that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and that we are seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. Ephesians tells us that we are engaged in a spiritual battle, and that we don't wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual might in high places.
But in the book of Revelation, Jesus warned this church they were in danger of leaving their first love. He essentially said, "I appreciate all that you do for me, your hard work, and your discernment."
But then He gave this warning: "Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don't repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches" (Revelation 4:5).
The lampstand was a symbol of the church. So Jesus was saying, in effect, "You can't rest on your past. If you don't do what I have told you to do, you will lose your position of influence and significance." Well, they didn't listen. And if you were to look around Ephesus today, you would see ruins. (Impressive ruins, but ruins nonetheless.)
When we say, "I am not going to walk closely with the Lord. I am going to compromise a little bit here and a little bit there," we lose our influence. We lose our impact. And what good is a half-hearted Christian? What good is a compromising believer? Not much good at all.
When people look at your life, do they see ruins? Or, do they see a life that is productive for Jesus Christ?