The third church that Christ sends a letter to is the church of Pergamos. This church is described as “the compromising church.” It is a warning that we are not to compromise God’s word and our love and loyalty to Him. Some of the people gave in to the teaching of Balaam and the Nicolaitans, which allowed for sacrifice to idols and sexual immorality. Many churches in America, in my opinion, have given to one form of idol or another…putting ‘things’ ahead of God. It may or may not be the common practice, but it is more and more allowed. That should not be. Sexual immorality, whether it be homosexuality or sex outside of marriage is prevalent in today’s society and I think many churches have looked the other way and some have allowed it, even in their own leadership! This ought not be! Turn back to what God’s word says and live by it. Don’t let this infiltrate your church. Let us all turn to God and ask Him to purify our lives. Dear God, please cleanse me of all unrighteousness and may I be faithful only to you. Thank you for saving me and making a sacrifice for me. I pray for the church in America that we would stand by God’s truth; every word of it. I pray that this country would once again be ‘one nation under God’ and allow Him back into our schools, our lives our country before it’s too late.
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “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 even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 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.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”‘
The second church Jesus writes to is in Smyrna, the persecuted church. We are not there yet, but the direction our country has been heading may lead to this one day. We need to be ready and never waiver in our faith. We need to pray for those who are being persecuted. Many Christians around the world are being imprisoned or killed for their faith and we need to keep them in prayer. Paul says to pray for all the saints. Also we need to beware of some so called Christian churches who give in to Satan’s lies and ignoring some of the scripture to be at peace with today’s culture. It is better to be at peace with God than man. If your church accepts any tradition of man that is contrary to what God’s word says, run from it! God’s truth does not change. The Bible warns of many false teachers and false prophets. Know what the Bible says and always test what others says by God’s word, nothing else. Let us be the church that overcomes and receive the crown of life to lay at Jesus’ feet when we are in heaven. He gave us life. He gave us victory over the second death. If we believe in Him and follow Him, we have that hope. Without Christ, there is no hope, but only torment. But, through Him, there will be no more tears or sorrow, but eternal life in God’s presence. How awesome that will be!
“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,
‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”‘
I would like to share what Jesus writes the 7 churches in Asia. I believe that each of the Christian churches of today are represented by one or more of these. The first is known as the loveless church, the church of Ephesus. Does any of this sound familiar? What can we do to learn from the praises and criticisms of each of the letters? Let us take heed to His warnings.
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”‘
Let us not be too busy with doing good works and put aside our fellowship with God. Let us always love others and stand up for what is right. Let us know the Word and not follow any false teachings and only preach and practice the truth and not leave any out or add to it. At the end of Revelation, Jesus give a harsh warning against this. Many churches nowadays are getting sucked in to following what the world says is true in contrast to what God says. There is much conflict over some of the issues that morality is being twisted and people are being offended (abortion and homosexuality are two of the big ones). God’s word is very clear. Love of God is shown best by obeying Him. Love of God is also shown by loving others. Let us always show love.
In the New Testament, there are many beautiful prayers that I try to pray for my family, friends and other believers, my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is one of my favorite. Paul prays to encourage the believers in Ephesus, to gain knowledge of the scriptures, to know of the hope they have in Jesus Christ and of His power. I try to personalize this to make it my own as I pray for others. So often our prayers are about “what can I get” or physical needs, which are fine, but we should go deeper. Prayer for those around us to be closer with God, to really know what the scriptures say that God’s words would help us grow spiritually and to always seek Him, knowing how powerful and awesome our God is, yet loves each one of us so much that Jesus came and took the sins of the world on His shoulders and died on the cross for you and me, paying the penalty of our sins so that we can be saved and spend eternity with Him. What a great and wonderful God we have that yearns for us to seek Him!
Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
With the new president in place and all the protests and violence that occurred yesterday during the inauguration, I thought it was important that we all pray for our new president and all the leaders in this country. We need to pray that they will have wisdom and make decisions that are best for this country. Pray for safety, pray for salvation. Pray that they would have an open mind to listen to their advisors and to the people to strengthen our country. Pray for the people in this country that they would turn back to God and make the choices that glorify Him. Pray for the church of this country that we would show love to all, that we would share the truth in love without compromise. That we would live in a way that honors our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 2:1-6
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time