The Church at Pergamos Was Worldly

Some years ago, musicians noted that errand boys in a certain part of London all whistled out of tune as they went about their work. It was talked about and someone suggested that it was because the bells of Westminster were slightly out of tune. Something had gone wrong with the … More

Worldliness

Pergamos was the capital of a Roman province located about 55 miles north of Smyrna and was known for its learning, science and especially medicine. Like Ephesus and Smyrna, it was a wealthy city but was stooped in idolatry and was averse to any Christian life and testimony. It claimed to have one of the finest libraries of that day and was the first place where parchment was used. Jesus emphasizes to the believers of Pergamos that he has the sharp double-edged sword to take care of the faithful (v. 12). The Lord commends the church for its steadfastness in the very center of Satan’s domination (v. 13). People worshiped the Greek gods in the temple in which the most prominent object was the writhed serpent. The Christians at Pergamos had been true to God under severe testing but had compromised their testimony in other ways which is mentioned next.

Tolerance of worldly morality and pagan doctrine was prevalent in the church. They were guilty of severe compromise by following the teaching of Balaam and the teaching of the Nicolaitans (vv. 14-15). Balaam had taught king Balak that he could get Israel to sin through intermarriage with heathen women and through idol worship (Num. 22:25; 31:15-16). Intermarriage with heathen women was a problem in Pergamos. The teaching of the Nicolaitans had reference to an unwarranted exaltation of the clergy. Christ sharply rebuked this church with a call to repentance and a warning of judgment (v.16). He then promised that there are rewards for repentance and faithful service (v. 17).

Application

I must be faithful under internal as well as external pressure. My life needs to display my beliefs.

Revelation 2:12-17 (English Standard Version)


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