Summary: We always lose out when we try to compromise with sin. It will consume us in the end. A great mistake a child of God commits is to compromise his/her Christian faith with this world. We often feel biblical principles are tough and rigid and we decide to c
Letter to the Church at Pergamum
Scripture: Revelation 2:12-17
Introduction: Winter was coming on and a hunter went out into the forest to shoot a bear out of which he planned to make a warm coat. By and by he saw a bear coming toward him and raised his gun and took aim. “Wait,” said the bear, “why do you want to shoot me?” “Because I am cold,” said the hunter. “But I am hungry,” the bear replied, “so maybe we can reach an agreement.” In the end, the hunter was well enveloped with the bear’s fur and the bear had eaten his dinner.
We always lose out when we try to compromise with sin. It will consume us in the end. A great mistake a child of God commits is to compromise his/her Christian faith with this world. We often feel biblical principles are tough and rigid and we decide to compromise on certain issues (its okay attitude). Anytime you compromise with evil, evil wins every time. Anytime you compromise with the Word of God, the devil wins and you lose. This morning I want to speak to you about compromising Christian standards.
Read Revelation 2:12-17
Background of Pergamum
Pergamum is the third of the 7 cities in the Turkish coast. It was a great administrative centre and the Roman capital of Asian province. They were the first to invent parchment scrolls, a method were animal skin was pressed and treated to contain writings. They had emperor worship and the city was also called Neo-koros. Pergamum was also famous for having other Greek gods like Zeus, Dinoysisus, Athena, and Aesculapius and had 4 big temples for these Gods.
See what the Bible says about this city. Revelation 2:13 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. In the midst of all the evil there was a church at Pergamum. Jesus had a word for that church and He wants to speak to us today through that message.
Compliments of Jesus to the Church at Pergamum.
Revelation 2:13. Firstly Jesus is complimenting the church for holding fast to His name. Jesus is complimenting the Church at Pergamum because they did not renounce their faith even in severe persecution. It says in the days of Antipas (The Bible does not describe much about him.) they were faithful to Jesus. History says Antipas was roasted in a brazen bull for his faith in God. Sometime in the past persecution came to them but they were faithful. Child of God Jesus knows the price we pay for being a Christian.
Criticism of Jesus to the Church at Pergamum. Revelation 2:14-15
We find here though the church was fine not every member was faithful. They had active members in the church who still held on to the doctrine of Balaam and the doctrine of Nicolaitans.
a. Doctrine of Balaam. Read Numbers 23-25.
Balaam was a prophet in the Old Testament. The Israelites were on there wilderness journey and came to the border of Moab. They had just conquered the Ammorites and the Moabites felt they were the Israelites next target. So Balak, King of Moab sent messengers to Balaam with a reward to curse the Israelites. Balaam prayed to God before answering the messengers and God asked Balaam not to curse the Israelites and not to go to the King of Moab. Now Balak sent another set of messengers to Balaam now with a higher reward to curse the Israelites. Again, God said not to curse the Israelites. However Balaam in his heart probably desired the good reward King Balak offered and finally God asked Balaam to go to King Balak but asked him to tell only what God told him to tell. Four times Balaam prayed to God in Moab and all the 4 times God put words of blessings for Israelites in Balaam’s mouth. Balak actually summoned Balaam to curse Israelites but Balaam blessed the Israelites 4 times. Balaam spoke only what God wanted him to speak, he did not add anything to the prophesies given by God. Balaam probably did not want to lose the reward offered by King Balak. We find Balaam eventually became close to Balak and giving him tips to defeat the Israelites. Balaam knew God hated sexual immorality, adultery, and idolatry. Balaam tipped King Balak to send the Moabite woman to the Israelites and seduce them and to lead them to idol worship, this plan succeeded. This is the doctrine of Balaam. Balaam when prophesying spoke exactly right but when he was with the Moabites the became close to them (identified with them) and supported idol worship and adultery.
The Pergamum church had such believers. When such people come to church they are perfect Christians but once outside the church they act like worldly people. Such members are in present day churches too who have no separation and sanctification from this world. They compromise on Christian values and principles outside the church. Nowadays believers find nothing wrong in watching movies that have sex and violence in them. God’s people watch pornography in the internet. Believers change hair styles according to the worldly trends. We use worldly songs and remix them to suit our Christian faith and style. People are very liberal minded nowadays. They participate in all types of idol worship and orgies outside church and Sunday they are holy believers. They compromise the Christian values and standards.