In Revelation chapter two, starting with verse number 12, we read the letter that John wrote to the church in Pergamum. This church represents that age that Christianity went through when it began to compromise. The early church was zealous for God, but by the end of the Apostolic age, it started losing its zeal. And then we see that the church went through a period of persecution.
But then, when the church and state merged, the church began to compromise. Now, I want to remind you that these letters that john wrote, not only represent real churches, and give us an outline of church history before it even took place. It also reminds us that each church has to deal with these issues.
We can be so easily dampened in our zeal for the Lord. We can be overwhelmed by trials and tribulations, and we can compromise. And so Jesus says to this church in Pergamum, in Revelation chapter two, verse number 13, I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is, yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith, even in the days of Antipholus. My faithful witness who was killed among you where Satan dwells.
But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols, and practice sexual immorality.
I want you to notice that as Jesus evaluates the church, he’s very aware of their values and standards. This church had faced the persecution, they had done some things well, and the Lord committed them, but he also pointed out to them that danger of letting down their standards.
We see how he compared them to Israel when the Prophet Balem led them to times of immorality, a time of sacrifice to items. And so we need to be careful not to be a compromising Christian. Not to be the kind of believer who loves Jesus on Sunday, but the rest of the week, do what we want to do. The rest of the week we’re worshiping the things of this world, or involved in immoral lifestyles.
The Lord cares about these sayings, and he does want us to be a pure church. We’ll never be perfect, but our goal is to be people who do not compromise with the world.