For The Love of Loyalty

“Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans”
- Revelation 2:14-15
The Word tells us that the church of Pergamum remained true to the name of Jesus even during persecution (Revelation 2:13), but from church history, we know that Pergamum fell into stumbling blocks. The church was faithful to God, but they began to tolerate two teaching styles in the church. They were lovers of the world—‘Pergamum’, meaning ‘lovers of worldliness.’

The teachings of Balaam were rampant with the practice of sexual immorality, and Pergamum, wanting to please the world, fell tribute to the sin of worldliness, allowing these teachings to infiltrate their church. The Nicolaitans had the mentality of, “if it feels good, do it.” Thus, the church at Pergamum had one hand on the Bible and one gripping the world.

Their mindset was that since God had already forgiven their sin debt, they could live any way they chose. The debt had already been paid in full. They wanted the world’s approval, popularity, and attention because it made them accepting. They were tolerable.

We see this in our churches today. Too often, Christians are afraid to call out sin for what it is. Some sin has become normal in our churches today, and nobody wants to be the first one to go against the grain and call it out because now, we’re accepting. If we turn back now, we’ll lose a lot of people. That’s right. The crowd thins out when they don’t like what they hear, but just as we discussed in our last devotion, God would rather have a church of five people who care than a church of ten thousand who don’t.

The sin of Balaam is rampant in our churches today. Sexual immorality is rampant. We’d love to be liked and appreciated, even celebrated by the world, but we will never win the world by looking like the world. We are imperfect, and temptations will come and go for every child of God. Temptations are for certain, but the sin of Balaam is allowing sin to choke out our churches. Let us not be lulled to sleep by lies. May we never long more for the world’s love than we do for God’s love.

This world can never satisfy, but Jesus says that if we endure, He’ll give us “hidden manna.” He goes on to say in Revelation that He’ll “give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it” (2:17). What does this mean?

History tells us that a white stone was given to someone for two reasons. One was either given to an athlete who had won a competition or to someone from a judge as a sign that they were not guilty. The athlete with the stone would also be given a crown, a wreath, and he would be invited to a banquet that only victors could attend.

When Jesus hands His faithful servants a white stone, it will be for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where we will sit with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Until that day, may we hold fast to His commands and never let our loyalties be divided.

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1 Comment

Florence Broadnax - January 20th, 2022 at 4:51pm

Amen!! To compromise the Truth is not an option even though it may cause you to get canceled. But God will is faithful and we are always safe in His arms.

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