Lessons from Revelation: The church at Pergamum

The third church that Jesus addresses is in Pergamum.  In Revelation 2:13-16, Jesus says

13 ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.  14’But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.  15 ‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.  16 ‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.

The church in Pergamum sounds like almost every other church you read about in the New Testament:  they were faithful through persecution, but weren’t adhering completely to the Word of God, either.  It’s a church that you could snatch out of Asia two thousand years ago and drop into Anywhere, USA and it would probably fit right in.

Unfortunately, some of Paul’s words to Timothy haven’t been heeded as the millennia have gone by.

2 Timothy 4:3-4

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

The church in Pergamum contained some who wanted to preach something other than the gospel of Christ.  Those people, as Paul writes in Galatians 1:6-9, will be punished for that transgression.

We must ensure that such things don’t happen here.  That will require study, prayer, and a vigilance to not just hear, but also examine what is taught and compare it to the truth of God’s Word.  We must be like the Bereans, who went to the Scriptures daily to make sure that Paul’s message was truth.