Ellen G. White Writings

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Sketches from the Life of Paul, Page 184

enshrouded the mountains and cast a shadow upon the city beneath, seemed a fitting emblem of the error and immorality which threatened the prosperity of the Christian church in that place. The mind of Paul was agitated by conflicting thoughts. He was to meet his children in the faith of the gospel. Some of them had been guilty of grievous sins. Some of his former friends had forgotten his love and the sweet friendship and confidence of earlier days. They had become his enemies, and questioned and disputed whether he was a true apostle of Christ, intrusted with the gospel. Though the majority of the church had turned from their sins and submitted to the commands of Paul, yet it could not be with them entirely as it was before their immorality. There could not exist that union, love, and confidence between teacher and people, as upon the occasion of his former visit. LP 183.2

There were still some in the church, who, when reproved by the apostle, had persisted in their sinful course, despising his warnings and defying his authority. The time had come when he must take decisive measures to put down this opposition. He had warned the Corinthians of his purpose to come and deal in person with the obstinate offenders: “I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that if I come again, I will not spare; since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me.” He had delayed his coming, to give them time for reflection and repentance. But now all who continued in their course of error and sin, must be separated from the church of Christ. They had charged Paul with timidity and weakness because of his long forbearance through love for their souls. LP 184.1

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