Ephesus Influence In The Ancient World

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1-3: John writes to the church at Ephesus, the “capital of the province of Asia” and a “great commercial centre”. Ephesus had a major impact and influence in the ancient world, and was home to the temple of Artemis, “one of the seven wonders of the world” along with being a major source of profit and revenue for the people in the city. Jesus in this message commends the people of emphasis for their “testing and rejecting” of the false apostles, and he encourages them in their right standing against the sin of sexual immorality that is all around them. In this time it was popular to be “open-minded toward many types of sin”, since the worship of these goddesses often included promiscuous sex outside of marriage, and Jesus commends the people for holding fast and not growing weary in the face of persecution.
4-7: The Ephesians, while they had done great things, had “completely forsaken their first fine flush of enthusiastic love”. The original founders of the church may have passed away, and with them the zeal for God may have diminished, “without which all else is lost”. They are told to repent or their lampstand would be removed, signaling that they would lose their status as a church “before Christ’s final coming”, and would be treated like the apostate and unfaithful Israel. While the church acts as a lampstand
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Jesus states that Pergamum was a throne for Satan likely because “Pergamum was the first city in Asia Minor to build a temple for emperor worship”, and was a center for this idolatrous practice in the ancient world. There persecution was harsh in this time, and a faithful believer Antipas was killed for his faith. Nothing is known of this man except that he held “fast [to] His name” in the face of intense persecution, and he is commended by Jesus for this

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