To some degree, the church in Pergamum has remained
faithful to Christ.This is obvious
since some of the Christians were martyred for their refusal of worshiping the
emperor.They could have easily
compromised their beliefs in order to save their lives. After all, what would be the big deal of
making a bow or two, to an idol?
However, they held to their beliefs and paid the ultimate
price, and for that they were commended by Christ for their faithfulness.
But, there were those who did not have such
virtuous principles. They preferred to compromise with their surroundings,
rather than trust and obey Christ.And
unfortunately this is the general state of Christianity even in our current
There are many who profess to love Jesus, who profess
to be good Christians, who know the language, even quote scripture and have
their favorite verses, but do not commit their life to what they say. These are the ones who are full of smoke,
air, puffed up with nothing inside, as we studied yesterday. All talk and no substance.
People compromise their Christian faith, with their
preference for whatever it is that entertains them, or occupies their time in
life. They are in effect, wasting their life away on nothing activities. You will find a lot of this type of activity
on the internet in many of the social chat or friendship or whatever, venues,
or watching television, or whatever.
And who is it that they all pursue really? It is Balaam and Balak
from the Old Testament, and in the next verse, from the New Testament, the
example will be the Nicolaitans.These
all represent the compromise that people make with the world, at the expense of
their spiritual mandates and principles.
One thing you should note. Far too many take lightly of Biblical
principles, and do not see the harm they are doing when they simply ignore Gods
mandates. They do not take the spiritual life seriously. It is not real in their minds. Not as real as the temporal and physical
world around them.And since lightning
does not strike immediately when they do what they do, then Gods rules are easy
However, Christ does not take lightly to those who
sweep away their errors as unimportant nothings. Christ holds against them who are indifferent
toward their spiritual dysfunction, and one day that infamous sword we studied
the other day, will enter into their empty smoke filled lives, and then ….. well, it won’t be pretty, and it won’t be a happy scene, but
most likely will be one of those ‘What did I do?’ things.
The story of Balaam is found in Num. 22-25. In short, Balaam was a prophet for hire. He would do anything for money, as it
the King of Moab, was afraid of the Israelites because of what they did to the
Amorites, so he hired Balaam to curse the Israelites.
Balaam tried three times and failed. So he came up with another plan. He was going to get women (lots of them) from
Moab to go to the Israelites and get the women to entice the Israelite men and
even influence them with their own Moab religion. That succeeded to some extent. The idea was that the Israelites would
compromise their own beliefs and thus handicap their faith and obedience toward
God, and that would cause their downfall.
The plan in theory was a good one and in reality
would work, because when people turn away from God, and by that they turn to
other things that occupy their attention, rather than on the spiritual things
that should be a part of their daily lives, then they would stall their own
spiritual life and actually halt it permanently.
Anything that causes you to be distracted from your
daily study, and this applies to most folks, will result in your being
disobedient toward God, even though you think you are
a godly person.After all, why can’t one
pursue life and then go to church on Sunday or holidays or whenever, and have
And that answers is, that you cannot. You cannot have a carefree virtually do
nothing life, and please God, even if you think that you are pleasing Him.
There is only one way to please God (only one way),
and that is to fulfill your obligation to grow up to spiritual maturity. And there is only one way to do that, and
that is to engage in that day in and day out, boring read the Bible study, and
read it again, and learn, and do the things that you should do in order to
actually learn, and grow up.
Hummm. Not as much fun as
sending flowers and hearts and typing little verses and like this and like
that, and basically doing nothing that promotes your spiritual state.
‘Oh!’ But you say, ‘I’m not worshipping idols and
bowing to icons and leading a life of lascivious sex.’
And ‘Oh!’ But I say, ‘But you are.’
The pattern of spiritual distraction, regardless of
what it may be, yields the same result – failure in
your spiritual life.
Some will heed and change the pattern of their
life, and some won’t.In which category
will you put your life, all of your life?