February 15, 2024

A Few Things

Revelation 2:14-16

“I have a few things against you. . . . Repent therefore!”

—  Revelation 2:14-16

Many of the Christians in Pergamum remained true to Jesus. That would not have been easy. An altar to Zeus stood near the tip of the city’s mountaintop, in the shadow of a temple built by the emperor Trajan. Below stood a “healing center” dedicated to the god Asclepius. And the worship of Dionysus led to sexual perversions in pagan worship.

Jesus commended his followers for remaining true to him. “Nevertheless, I have a few things against you,” he said. Some people in the church were trying to mix their faith in Jesus with pagan practices. Those practices included worship “parties” where food was offered to idols and people engaged in drunkenness and sexual perversions. And Jesus does not put up with that.

Many years earlier, Balaam, a false prophet, had set up a plan to tempt the men of Israel to similar perversions (Numbers 25:1-3; 31:16). Jesus also mentioned the Nicolaitans (see Rev. 2:6), who seem to have wanted Christ’s followers to compromise their beliefs. But any compromise would oppose a wholehearted commitment to Jesus.

So the church was to call its members to repent, said Jesus, or he would come “and fight against them with the sword of [his] mouth.” This meant he would bring his Word of judgment against them.

This warning remains for all of us today. Let us take note, repent, and submit to Jesus.

Lord Jesus, help us to follow you wholeheartedly. We confess our sins and repent, knowing you are faithful to forgive. Amen.

About the author — Evan Heerema

Evan Heerema is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington state and in Michigan. He was also on the teaching staff at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for ten years. He and his wife are the parents of two daughters and the grandparents of two grandsons.

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