We are familiar with the Seven Churches as found in Revelation 2 and 3; however I’d like to look into why each church was either alive or dead, and what can be learned about each one.
Now a church is a group of people attending together worshiping God, so the churches themselves fall into these groups when the members themselves do the same.
First warning: The danger of leaving your first love.
This warning comes from the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2: 4-5
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
We can become just as this church has. We can do so by loving ourselves rather than those we strive to teach the gospel to, something condemned by Jesus in Matthew 22: 34-40.
But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
We also find that a neighbor isn't just your literal neighbor, or someone you like, but anyone in need. As found in the parable of the good Samaritan- Luke 10: 35-37
On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
A love for our neighbor comes from us realizing that we were in a sinful state as they are now. It's shown by a care and concern of the souls of those around us.
The result of a lack of said love is a church that also lacks that kind of love, and a church that lacks this love, even if it had the spiritual gifts of the first century profits nothing. 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
We must never allow ourselves, or our congregation to reach this condition!