Lake Eufaula Christian Church
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus visited John, His last living apostle, and dictated letters to the Christian Churches in Asia Minor, which is modern-day Turkey. In His letter to the church in Pergamum, He took issue with the principle of compromise.
To compromise in a godless culture is to lower your standards to participate in society’s immorality. The Christians in Pergamum had done that, as many in America have done today, making what Jesus wrote to that congregation very applicable now. When our faith gets mixed with the unbiblical beliefs of the day, we tend to lose Jesus. We need to refuse to compromise.
Pergamum was a stronghold of pagan worship with many Greco- Roman statues for the gods. The statue of Asklepius, their special Pergamene god, holds a staff entwined with snakes, which today remains the symbol of medicine and a distinctive sign in pharmacies.
It was said that those hoping for healing would enter the Asklepion temple, undergo a ritual cleansing, offer sacrifices, drink a potion, then descend into the dark lower chamber, where snakes would bite them and heal them. False worship, false healer. The truth was no one who was “close to death” was allowed in the lower chamber, but its reputation as a place of cure persisted.
A second type of idol worship existed in Pergamum—the imperial cult who worshiped Rome’s leaders. The city erected a temple and statue to worship Caesar, who wanted to be called Lord and God. Christians there had to stand strong with all the wicked influences and idol worship around them.
Jesus’s letter written by John praises his followers there. “ I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city— where Satan lives.” (Revelation 2:13) Antipas, who had recently been martyred, refused to renounce his faith. He stood strong against the pressures and temptations of this Jesus-hating culture and society, and the Pergamum church stood with him, not renouncing their faith and bowing to a deadly cult. However, like the Balak and Nicolaitans, the Pergamum Christians “ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality” (Revelation 2:14), and Jesus warned them to refrain from such religious and moral compromise.
Jesus said to the church members at Pergamum, “Repent therefore!” (Revelation 2:16), and He’s saying it to us today. Whatever we’ve been compromised to do because our society judges it acceptable, if it’s not God’s way, we need to reject it. Jesus will reward us for victory over sin. “To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” (Revelations 2:17) Such a stone in ancient Rome was given to winning athletes, an ongoing reminder of victory.
LECC welcomes both losers and winners at 415897 Highway 9, Eufaula, where we still have small group Bible study at 10 am, worship at 11 am, and Wednesday night classes for all ages at 6:30 pm. Choose victory by honoring God all week, and especially by coming to church on Sunday—LECC if you are presently unhappily unchurched.