Like the church today, the church in Pergamum also endured intense social pressure to walk away from the Truth. On the outside, the church seemed to be following God's commandments. Inwardly, they allowed the culture to weaken their courage. They began tolerating the customs of their pagan society. They permitted false teachings to infiltrate their church. They remained followers of Christ but chose to blend in with society instead of standing for His Truth.
While Jesus encourages them in their suffering, He admonishes them for tolerating what they know to be false doctrines and teachings: "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, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, . . . [and] . . . the Nicolaitans" (Revelation 2:13-15).
The world's opposition does not excuse us from speaking against the lies of our culture.
Jesus knew the Pergamum believers faced intense attacks because of their faith. He knew that Satan held a stronghold in their city. Jesus was aware of their situation, just as He is aware of everything that we face today. He knows it is not easy to feel the pressure of a godless society. Yet the world's opposition does not excuse us from speaking against the lies of our culture. Jesus still expects us to stand up for His name and His Truth.
Prayer: God, no matter how difficult it may be, I pray that You would help me to unashamedly stand up for You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name" (1 Peter 4:16).