“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liar” Revelation 2:2
The Lord says the church in Ephesus is not patient in facing those who are evil. Who do they mean by evil? According to Revelation 2, they are Balaam and Nicolaitans. They confess that they are apostles, teachers and servants of God but they lie and bring false teachings to the gatherings of God’s people.
The Lord praised the attitudes of the church in Ephesus toward the false teachings. First, they succeeded in proving the deception of those teachings and guarded the purity of their doctrine. A church has to teach their congregation the right doctrine so they can understand the truth of God’s Word and hold firmly onto it so that they are not easily shaken.
Second, the church in Ephesus has tried and tested those apostles. They tested their teaching, integrity, and character. The Ephesians are not easily swayed or amazed by servants of God who confess they are apostles. They also do not accept any teaching easily unless testing it first. And when they know the truth that the people who confessed they were apostles were liars, they confront those people and refuse their visitation and teachings so that the congregationare spared from false teachings.
Third, the church in Ephesus serve the Lord seriously and are willing to suffer for the name of the Lord. There are many challenges and attacks from the devil, but they continued to be diligent. They never give up and they are always willing to establish the truth of God’s Word in the lives of their congregation. This is one of the things the Lord praised about them.
Fourth, the church in Ephesus refuses the teaching of Nicolaitans that has the belief that fornication does not affect one’s salvation. Apostle Paul clearly reminds the church in Corinth that those who commit fornication do not have a part on the kingdom of God. What this means is that those who live in fornication and do not truly repent will lose their salvation.
It is clear we must be firm in teaching and living in the Word of God; we must also be firm in refusing teachings that are proven to be false and dangerous for our salvation. We must do what the Lord pleases and hate what the Lord hates. The same goes to our attitude in false teachings that lead to death so that we can guard the flock of God from the wolves. Amen.
Source: Article from GBI Gatot Subroto, Jakarta