[PC-USA] 2005-05-20 - Letter to the Church in Pergamum

The Seven Churches, Part 4 - Pergamum

12 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live - where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city - where Satan lives. 14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. (Rev 12:2-17 NASB)

What can we learn from the Pergamum church? They had let into their fellowship, people who influenced others to compromise their faith. How about us? Do we allow this?

Perhaps if we think of it in terms of people walking in the door and blatantly trying to sway members, the answer would be no. But we can let the more insidious parts of our culture into our churches and families, in other ways.

For example, we let ungodly attitudes seep in, sometimes so graudally that it's barely discernible. Our role models may be people who worship money (promoted by some reality TV shows), or who are having premarital sex - and the children pick up on that, and think it's okay. Our misguided priorities are reflected in our attendance at sporting events or sleeping in, rather than being in church on Sundays. Rather than being shining beacons for Christ, we might expect governmental agencies to bend rules for our churches.

Sometimes we let unsound teaching infiltrate our midst. Perhaps it doesn't make its way in via an errant minister, but rather through purchases at the bookstore or studies allowed in the church. Do the doctrines line up with the Bible? There's nothing wrong with finding out about other beliefs in order to discuss them with those who adhere to those beliefs. But if we are teaching them as valid, that's another story.

Think about your church, your family, your circle of friends. The question I ask you to ponder: Would Christ feel comfortable there?

Jan

[email jan] cfdevpray@juno.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org