Ephesus and Pergamum

Among the seven churches of Asia Minor in Revelation, these two—Ephesus and Pergamum—have opposite issues.

Ephesus was death on false teachers. They remind me of hyper-reformed churches that insist on certain details of baptism and the Lord’s supper, and that discipline folks for holding ideas that are not approved.

Like those churches, the Ephesian church had lost its witness in the community. They held the church together in a strict dogmatic way, but they lost their first love and had become ineffective.

Pergamum was a witnessing church, even to the point of death. They remind me of a conservative evangelical church that is fervent in reaching out to the community and getting people saved.

Like many of those churches, the Pergamene church had begun accommodating itself to the culture. It allowed some to teach that dabbling in the cultural part of polytheism was a necessary part of daily life.

If this trend continued, the church at Pergamum was have it’s witness watered down to the point of ineffectiveness.

The church today has both problems at the same time. We are so individualistic these days that we do not realize that Jesus will come and judge the whole congregation. If our church loses its first love, or if our church compromises with the culture, we are all responsible.

Tough stuff.

Moving on to Revelation and PDF of blog posts on Matthew

After I completed my study of Matthew last week, I moved on to a study of Revelation. I don’t intend to publish regular blog posts out of this study, because Revelation is too contentious and I have never wanted to be in a position of leading anyone else in a study of it. I’m sure there will be some posts about it as time goes on.

One thing that has dawned on me already (in the first eleven verses of Revelation) is that endurance has a component of resistance, especially when it comes to false teaching. False teaching and the ineffectiveness of the church is what you might call a hobby of mine, so I’m sure I will have some things to say.

Meanwhile, I compiled my Matthew blog posts into a single PDF file. I certainly wouldn’t consider it to be any kind of commentary, but it might be useful to people teaching a class or a group studying Matthew. I would think of it more as a set of teaching points than anything else. So help yourself with the link below:

Matthew blog posts.pdf