In Acts 20:17-38, Paul spoke for the last time to the leaders of the church of Ephesus. He warned them that he expected certain men to come there soon. Those men would try to teach wrong things to the Christians there. Paul emphasised strongly that those men, and their ideas, were very dangerous.
John wrote the Book of Revelation several years later. By that time, those men had been to Ephesus, but they had little effect on the church there. Perhaps because Paul had warned so strongly, the church leaders were able to deal with those men.
It seems that the church there became very cautious and strict about its beliefs. They refused to accept any teacher who did not agree completely with Paulís message. They were very anxious that no evil person should ever teach in their church.
The church members worked very hard to do Godís work in Ephesus. The leaders would not allow the members to become lazy; Godís work is important. They helped weak and ill people; they gave to poor people.
The Christians there had many troubles but they remained strong. When people opposed them, they stood firm in their beliefs. They were confident about their beliefs. They were not afraid to suffer for what is right.
The strict attitudes of the church leaders probably helped the members to be strong about these things. However, perhaps the same attitudes caused them to neglect the most important quality for a Christian: love (1 Corinthians chapter 13). All that they did was good; but they did it for the wrong reasons. Their love for God and for each other, which originally had been strong, was now very weak.
Next part: The importance of love (Revelation 2:4)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.