If we could only return to the days of the first-century church—a much more simple, authentic time in the church!
That’s what many struggling saints think today. But the idea behind such a comment is idealism, thinking that the early churches were free from disagreement and as doctrinally pure as the driven snow. That simply was not the case. An honest look shows Corinth as a church shot through with conflict, Colossae and Galatia as churches struggling with doctrinal error, Laodicea as lukewarm in its affection for Christ, Jerusalem as struggling with financial constraints, and Thessalonica as indifferent, not to mention the hypocritical Hebrews in the days of James. But perhaps we can find the best snapshot of the situation in the first-century church in John’s third letter. We will also see a reflection of modern-day churches as we examine these fourteen verses.
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