Dear Saints of the Living God – Grace and Mercy to you and your family!
Blessings to you and your family from Sioux falls, South Dakota… beautiful city with wonderful people…
Let us turn to Revelation 2, as we continue with the meditation on the seven churches, from the book of Revelation… that the Lord is speaking to. We have already meditated on the church in Ephesus, a careless church – who lost their first love for the Lord. We fall part, when we take the reverence and His love lightly, especially what Jesus did on the cross. Then we saw, the church at Smyrna – a church, even during their persecution, never gave up on the Lord, and they were honored with the crown of life.
Today morning, we will see about the church in Pergamum… (a quick background):
During this time, one of the battle for these cities (Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum) is that which is “The” city in Asia. They also want to impress the roman empire. Pergamum had an impressive credentials due to their wealth and their upscale center of commerce. All these cities are crowded with false gods, cults, and mixed philosophies due to the heavy presence of Greek and Roman belief system, immorality and other forms of wickedness – no different than what we are facing today.
The Lord has so many good things to say about this church – their loyalty to hold fast to His name and in fact, Antipas, someone from their congregation was killed for his belief.
Revelation 2:13 says, “And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells”
But… there are few things that are bothering Him…
“You have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam”
Here are couple of things that we can take it from this one:
From time to time, we do fall apart, and we don’t carry 100% in our Christian walk – and we need constant tweaking in our life, that way, we can correct our path; as long as our heart is in the right place, the Lord can use you and me for the extension of His Kingdom and His will.
How do we know, whether we are in the right path or not? Very simple – the Holy Spirit will hound us, to change the decision, when we make a mistake; sometimes, it will be about reconcile or distancing from certain relationship… other times, asking for forgiveness from someone… or giving your comfort zone, and get to a state of total reliance on the Lord… we find ourselves with restlessness in our heart – you know why, we are refusing to accept what the Lord is saying to us.
What we need is the approval of the King of kings… not the world. Sometimes, due to the pressures of this world, we compromise.
The concern for the Lord about the church in Pergamum is, “the nature to compromise” that they make with the world.
The reference is to Balaam, is a bit steep.
Balaam is a man, who wanted to gain riches by using his “prophet” status. Misusing God given grace, for a personal gain. Oh my goodness – do we have them in our modern day church culture? Of course… one of the TV preacher was saying, give us $1000 from your credit card or borrow money and sow… and you will be bountifully blessed, really? Seriously?
On the other hand, I am fascinated by the man in the 1800’s named, William Wilberforce. This is the man, from Great Britain, went to India to start East India company – in hopes of spreading the gospel. Later, it took twists and turns and finally ended to cause the India to be ruled by British for 200 years..
We have such a wide spread of Christian faith in India, because of missionaries like William Wilberforce. For over 20 years, he was the parliament leader and opposed the slavery in Great Britain. During those days, he endured hardships, trials and many, many struggles because of his beliefs – but you know what, he never backed down – he never compromised on his belief. The result of his endurance, the parliament finally passed the slavery abolition act, which said, that every slave in British Emprise was to set free within four years. This was passed a month after his death on July 29th 1833. Why? He never compromised. It takes only one Moses, one Abraham, one Noah, one Job, one Esther, one Paul – that takes an uncompromising stand.
Sometimes, you are the one, that the Lord needs in your work place… and for some, you are the only one in your household to know the Lord to bring the entire house into the presence of the Holy God. For some, you are the only one that the Lord needs to change the city…
When God calls you and me to His purpose – there will be opposition, think of Zerubbabel, building a temple for the Lord – couldn’t move forward for 16 years, but he never compromised on his belief.
Today morning, what speaks really loud from this church is – the Lord putting a mantle over on each and every one of us, saying – “Don’t Compromise”, I am a faithful God – and I will wrestle on your behalf. This struggle will pass – just like the ones from the past. This hardship that you endure has an end to it.
Let our life, shine so bright, the world will know!