Lesson Scriptures: Revelation 2:12-17
Key Lesson Theme: “Uncompromising with Truth”
Today's Lesson: Monday, June 14
12 “Write to the angel of the church in Pergamum: Thus says the one who has the sharp, double-edged sword:
13 I know where you live—where Satan’s throne is. Yet you are holding on to my name and did not deny your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness who was put to death among you, where Satan lives.
14 But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block in front of the Israelites: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality.
15 In the same way, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
16 So repent! Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is inscribed that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
The Bible Meets Life
Most people shy away from conflict and confrontation. Some will go to great lengths to avoid it. They note that Paul urged the Romans, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (12:18). However, this was not a command to avoid all confrontations, but a prohibition against acting with vengeance (v. 19). Times do come when we must stand for truth. Believers cannot compromise on the essentials of the faith. They are to stand for God’s truth.
The third in the series of letters to the churches in Asian Minor is to the assembly of believers in Pergamos. Pergamos, located 10-15 miles inland from the Aegean Sea, was built on a hill providing a commanding view of the valley below and the Caicus River. Perhaps its geographical position accounts for the name Pergamos, which means “citadel.” Cities built on hills were considered strongholds against attacks from enemies that might approach from below. Pergamos, as the chief city of the province, was the residence of the Roman authorities who had charge of matters of the state religion, specifically emperor worship. It was the site of the first temple in Asia dedicated to the Emperor Augustus. It was a city of great wealth known for its architecture on display in libraries, theaters, marketplaces, and of course temples to various gods, including an altar to Zeus, the chief god of the Roman pantheon. Hence, as a center for pagan and emperor worship, the city was positioned to engage in unrelenting persecution against Christians.
While the believers in the church at Pergamos were commended for their faithfulness even under the pressure of persecution, they had become too tolerant and had allowed some false teachers to encroach upon the fellowship. Perhaps they wanted to be seen as broad-minded in their views; a danger that faces the contemporary church. Even so, the church earned the rebuke of Christ. However, He also gave them a solution and extended to them His promises for faithful, victorious living.
Until tomorrow Saints...
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