The Church in Pergamos: 3 Important Lessons to Learn

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The church in Pergamos was great. However, it also had its faults. Some church members’ corrupt practices and doctrines were why it is a compromised church.

On the other hand, we can learn essential lessons from the faults and successes of this church. This is why the Lord Jesus Christ sent a message to these churches in Revelation so that we can avoid their mistakes and learn from their success.

The church in Pergamos is committed to the faith.

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Revelation 2:13

Pergamos was an idolatrous and pagan city. Hence, the Bible calls it “Satan’s seat.” But even though this was the case, they were not afraid and unashamed to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They remained committed to their faith and did not deny the name of Christ by keeping the gospel hidden.

The church’s persecution in Pergamos was so great that the persecutors martyred a church member named Antipas. But despite the people’s hostility against the church, they continued to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Churches nowadays must appreciate that many Christians had shed their blood in the past so that the gospel of Christ would spread worldwide. There are churches worldwide nowadays because of their willingness to give their life for the gospel. For this reason, we must continue the work that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to do; to preach the gospel worldwide.

We can expect persecution as we obey Christ’s great commission. But we must remain committed to the faith just like the church in Pergamos.

11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Matthew 5:11-12

All those who obeyed the commands of God went through persecution. From the Prophets in the Old Testament, the apostles in the time of Christ, to the Christians in modern times. But Jesus also promised that there would be a reward in Heaven for those who went through persecution.

The church in Pergamos is compromised with sin.

14But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Revelation 2:14-15

The church in Pergamos was committed to the faith. However, as the Lord Jesus Christ states, they also had their faults. The church in Pergamos was adhering to the teachings of Balaam, who caused the Israelites to sin while they were in the wilderness.

The doctrine of Balaam.

Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

2 Peter 2:15

Balaam knows that he won’t be able to curse the nation of Israel in the wilderness since the Lord is with them. But because the enemies of Israel paid him money, he devised a plan for Israel to sin so that the Lord would curse them. So he taught them to sin against God, and God cursed them. Balaam did this because of his love for money.

A preacher may not be teaching you to sin, but if he stops preaching against sin, it’s the same as giving you consent to sin. Many preachers are afraid to preach against sin because they might lose members and their tithes. That shows you their priority in the ministry. If they cared about church members, then they would preach against sin.

Eating things sacrificed unto idols.

Since Pergamos is an idolatrous city, this was rampant for most citizens. However, some members of the church in Pergamos probably continued this practice even though they were already Christians. This wasn’t only a problem in the church in Pergamos and the Corinthian church. That’s why the Apostle Paul had to address the issue.

Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 8:4-9 that eating meat sacrificed unto idols does not make you wicked or holy since we know that idols are nothing and that we worship the only true God. However, not everyone has this knowledge.

Therefore, if your liberty offends other Christians, you must give up that liberty.

Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

1 Corinthians 8:13

Fornication.

Balaam taught the Israelites to fornicate with others while they were in the wilderness. And apparently, it also became a problem in the church in Pergamos.

9I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

1 Corinthians 5:9-10

Remember that we go out to preach the gospel even to the fornicators of this world. Sin had just blinded them like us when we didn’t know the gospel of Christ. However, now that we are saved, we must avoid sin. Or we risk that chastisement of God upon us.

The church in Pergamos is commanded to fear God.

Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Revelation 2:16

How could these people commit all those sins? It’s because they have no fear of God. The fear of God and obedience to God are inseparable (Ecclesiastes 12:13.)

Therefore, if a person fears God, he will obey God’s commands. And if a person obeys God, then that means he fears God. That’s why church members must know how to fear God. Because if they don’t, they will live according to their standards, not God’s Word.

Sin had compromised the church in Pergamos. Before sin compromises a church, it starts by compromising individual members. Therefore, we mustn’t let sin creep into our lives.

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