“To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 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, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. ” (Revelation 2:12-15 NIV)
Though this message was for the early church in the Middle East, governed by Rome, it still serves as a reminder to us today. When reading this, I began to wonder if America has become “Satan’s Seat” of all that is wrong with society today.
The message to the church acknowledges that there are some who remain true to their faith and will not renounce the belief and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, even in the face of persecution and those will be rewarded. However, He goes onto to say what He will hold against those tho entice people to sin and to hold onto cultic teachings that worship idols and false gods. This is in reference to the Nicolaitans (those who brought in idolatry and encouragement to live in opposition to God’s Word). Doesn’t that sound just like what is occurring in the Christian Community today?
Whenever I hear someone attempt to justify a lifestyle that is opposition to God’s Word, I know they cannot know God and yet they quote scripture–out of context–that we who know to do right are not their judge. “God said don’t judge.” They quote it and have no idea what it means. Jesus said in Matthew 7:1,2 “Do not judge or you too will be judged, for in the same way you judge others (without The Word), you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” The judgment that He references is based upon man’s intellect, not God’s Word and it is a warning that when we exclude God’s Word as a guide for living, we set ourselves up to be judged by the same standards (man’s intellect). They who live according to their flesh have already been judged and condemned by The Word–not us. If they knew God and had read His Word, they would know how ridiculous their attempt to quote Him is to justify their behavior.
And then their claim to sexual orientation is not a choice is further evidence of a lack of understanding about “words.” An orientation is a process designed to encourage a practice. A preference is a process of selectively choosing what one wants or does. Both–orientation and preference–are choices, not civil rights or birth designs. This is how Satan deceives and unfortunately, there are many who buy into the deception.
But we can take heart in the knowledge that not all Believers are seduced by a lying devil and we will hold fast to God’s Word, no matter what and we will not entice others to participate in ritualistic sin. What we must remember–the messages in the Bible are for Believers–not the unbelieving, for they would not believe it any way. Judgment begins at the household of faith–for all who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. For those who are not followers in the truest sense of the word, their only hope is repentance and restoration to living a life that is pleasing to God.
We can no longer teach a sugar-coated message of Salvation in an attempt to not offend. Yes, Jesus died for all, but all must come to acknowledge that He is God and nothing in His message when He walked the earth, changed God’s Word or intent for mankind. The only hope the worldly have is for those of us who know Truth, to teach God’s Truth, not our own. We must say what God says in the context in which He said it.
There are seven churches just as there are seven types of Christians, of which only one will escape the great tribulation – Revelation 3:10. Too many are lukewarm, love the things of the world, etc. We need to become the “church of Philadelphia” which is akin to the early “church of Acts” from Jerushalayim.
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