I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My Name, and did not deny My faith...
But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
'The Compromising Church' was Pergamos.
This church was located in an ancient and great city of Turkey, but it was also a hot spot of demonic activity. The good news is the congregation never denied Jesus.
The bad news is they were trying to serve both Jesus and the world. Our King says 'No one can serve two masters' (Matthew 6:24). To begin to understand the things Christ holds against His compromising people, I offer three simple definitions:
'Things sacrificed to idols' indicate a 'sacrifice to demons and not to God' (1 Corinthians 10:20). What things? Work, time, money, or love. What demons? Since evil reigns in the absence of God, demons reign in anything without God.
'Balaam' was a pagan prophet working with Balak, the King of Moab, who enticed the children of Israel to sin with idols and prostitutes. Thousands died as a result.
'The Doctrine of the Nicolaitans' refers to a lifestyle of unrestrained indulgence and immorality; in it, Christ followers are free to do whatever they want, possibly or intentionally misinterpreting the scripture, 'All things are lawful for me' (1 Corinthians 6:12).
Today, many churches seem to embrace a prosperity doctrine of unrestrained indulgence. Immorality is overlooked in a 'don't ask don't tell' policy. We misinterpret Jesus' words, 'He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first' (John 8:7), as an open invitation for sin without consequence.
But Jesus also said, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me' (Matthew 16:24). And if we don't?
'Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness' ' (Matthew 7:23).
Our 21st century code of conduct will not stand on judgment day. Because 'everyone does it' is all the more reason Christ followers should not. We cannot serve two masters. We cannot compromise with sin. We cannot practice lawlessness and expect to enter the Kingdom of God.
God loves His compromising followers, but He insists that we repent. Quickly.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Which Church Are You? series.