Monday, April 20, 2009

Ephesus; The Loveless Church

The first church Christ mentions to John in the book of Revelations is Ephesus, which means darling. With over 300,000 people, Ephesus was the largest city and the Capital of the Asian Province. Founded by Paul around 50 AD it was also the location of the third ecumenical council in 431 AD. With an important seaport it boasted of being the home of the Greek goddess Diana, known to the Romans as Artemis the moon goddess, and to the Asiatic as the nursing mother of gods, men, animals, and plants. The Temple of Artemis was one of the seven ancient wonders of the world whose goddess was commercialized as a trinket god supplying great wealth to the local silversmiths. Paul’s preaching interfered with the commerce of this idol and aroused violent opposition from the merchants (Acts 19:23-25).

At the time when Paul founded this church hardly anyone there knew of the true Gods temple. Now, two thousand years later, no one knows of Artemis. This ancient wonder was burnt and rebuilt and finally destroyed, and the world is better for that destruction. Meanwhile the true temple is majestically nearing completion with new members being added to the Lambs Book of life every day. Christ recognized the Ephesians tireless perseverance in bearing up under trial for His name’s sake, and how they opposed false apostles like the heretical Nicolaitians; (Rev 2:2-3; Rev 2:5). However, he reproved them for having left their first love, (Rev 2:4) and admonished them to remember where they had fallen from, (Rev 2:5). They are warned to repent and return to their first works or else He will come and remove the candlestick out of its place, (Rev 2:5). As a reward to all those who overcome and persevere, the fruit from the tree of life is offered. Those who allegorize the churches to represent the different ages match Ephesus with the early church age roughly from 33 AD to 70 AD, marking the fall of Jerusalem.

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