“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted” (Rev. 2:2–3).
In many ways, the church at Ephesus had their act together. When the Lord begins to speak to them directly, he commends them heartily at first. This was the church that had received the magnificent epistle to the Ephesians, and the apostle Paul had labored there in Ephesus for a few years. They had internalized the teaching, and were faithful in their defense of it.
The Lord commends their works, their labor, and their patience. Another item of praise, and one that modern churches need to pay close attention to, is the fact that Jesus praised the intolerance of the Ephesian church. They could not bear those who were evil. They tested certain false apostles, and found them to be false.
They were a hard-working church. They had to bear a great deal for the sake of the Lord’s name, and they did so with patience. They persevered in this labor with patience.
But that does not mean that all was well. Their works were sound, but not completely sound. Something was missing, and the fact that is was missing threatened to ruin all.