“Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam. . . .”
Threats to our faith in Jesus seldom come through the main doors. Most threats are deceptive and subtle. Martyrdom and persecution were main-door threats to the church in Pergamum. Sexual immorality and delicious food that had been sacrificed to other gods were side-door threats. These were common practices that most of the people of Pergamum were used to.
It appears, though, that only some of the people in the congregation at Pergamum were promoting immoral sex and food sacrificed to idols. It was, however, enough to warrant a warning from Jesus in this personal letter.
This letter provides no further details on the matter of food for idols and sexual immorality. But there is a clear call for everyone to stop and repent—and to do so immediately—or else they would later have to face further correction from Jesus.
Are there any immoral cultural practices that have a side-door route into our church communities? Are there moral blind spots that you or your church might be practicing or even promoting? Jesus speaks firmly against these threatening practices. He says, “Stop! Repent. Be faithful!”
Dear God, open our eyes to any subtle threats trying to creep into our communities. May your firm and final call to repent fill us with conviction and hope and encourage us to change. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!