1. Series: God’s Message to the Church in Pergamum
This is part of a series on the seven churches in Asia Minor (Revelation 2-3). This article covers the message to the church in Pergamum (Rev 2:12-17).
The video messages of letters to churches in Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7), Smyrna (Rev 2: 8-11), Pergamum, (Rev 2:12-17), Thyatira (Rev 2:18-29), Sardis (Rev 3:1-6), and Philadelphia (Rev 2:18-29), Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzs5B_RI3OQ&list=PLGZv4fOP54n3HbIZJqV-Juw8qSO_tO7Ls
2. Uncompromising in the Way, Truth & Life
In Rev 2:14, God says to the church in Pergamum: “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…”
2.1 The Story of Balam and Balak
We see the story of Balam and Balak in Numbers 22-24. Balak was a Moabite king who offered reward/money to prophet Balam to curse Israel. The king’s offer: “I will reward you handsomely and do whatever you say” (Num 22:17) – that is too tempting for anyone to let go of an offer like that from a king!
Balam was willing, but God makes Balam to bless Israel instead. However, Balam suggests to Balak that the way to bring a curse on Israel is to make Israelites turn away from God, to send Moabite women to entice Israelites, and to turn them away from God. (Num 31:16)
2.2 Compromised Church in Pergamum
Rev 2:12-17 says that some in the church in Pergamum are compromised and corrupt similar to Balam and his advice. We ought to be uncompromising in our loyalty to truth and to what is right/good. Anything that deviates from that, is an idol that is disapproving to God. The idol of Pharisees is their self-righteousness – imposing external/unimportant religious traditions and always condemning/judging people. On the other hand, we can make worldly pleasures and pressures as our idol.
3. Yet Be a Friend of Sinners
Instead, we should be able to be a “friend of sinners” in the sense Jesus was. We need to be able to love the world in the sense God loved the world (John 3:16). We need to be able to have respectful conversations with people, the way Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-26). We need to be uncompromising in the Way, Truth, and Life (as Jesus described Himself in John 14:6).
Seven churches of Revelation series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzs5B_RI3OQ&list=PLGZv4fOP54n3HbIZJqV-Juw8qSO_tO7Ls