Author: Paul Lehr
Revelation 2:2-3 I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.
Good news from Jesus Christ to the church or local body of believers at Ephesus. He is watching and He knows what is taking place.
Perseverance…This word is used twice in the verses above. Perseverance is the Greek word ηυπομονε/hupomone. Per Strong’s Concordance, it means: constancy, endurance; in the New Testament the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials and sufferings; patiently and steadfastly enduring.
The people at the church of Ephesus were focused grinders. The text tells us their work and life was difficult from the word for “toil”. It comes from the Greek κοποσ/kopos. It means: a beating of the breast with grief, sorrow; intense labor united with trouble.
…and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false…
False teachers…a topic believers are continually warned about throughout the Bible. Jesus Himself warned against these folks. Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
Matthew 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Whatever the future holds will be off the charts in deception.
The New Testament letters of Galatians and 1 Thessalonians warn against false teachers. The Apostle John warns about the ultimate false teacher, the antichrist.
The church at Ephesus “put them to the test”. They had the attitude of the Berean Church. Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.
Were the false teachers telling the truth? Apparently not. False teachers are evil, wicked, and destructive.
What was the focus of the church at Ephesus? My name’s sake…The body of believers at Ephesus was focused on Jesus Christ.
These two verses are calls to believers in Jesus Christ today. We are to focus and work for the communication of the gospel of Christ regardless of the circumstances. We are called to persevere, stay vigilant, and focus.
Christians are called to guard against false teachers and verify with Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. “All Scripture” includes the Old Testament. The Old Testament is buried treasure. It will reveal the New Testament to life in the person of Jesus Christ.
…and have not grown weary. Do not become κοπιαο/kopiao. Yes, we will grow weary, tired, and exhausted with toil, burdens and grief.
This personal message given to us by Jesus is at the beginning of the book of Revelation. This message is one of the first things He tells the church. Difficult times are coming. Don’t quit. It is worth it in the end.