“Write this to the angel of the church in Pergamum: These are the words of the one who has the sharp, two-edged sword: I know that you are living right where Satan’s throne is. You are holding on to my name, and you didn’t break faith with me even at the time that Antipas, my faithful witness, was killed among you, where Satan lives. But I have a few things against you, because you have some there who follow Balaam’s teaching. Balaam had taught Balak to trip up the Israelites so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. In the same way, you have some who follow the Nicolaitans’ teaching.
Revelation 2:12-15 CEB
Godless people have slipped in among you. They turn the grace of our God into unrestrained immorality and deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Judgment was passed against them a long time ago. I want to remind you of something you already know very well. The Lord, who once saved a people out of Egypt, later destroyed those who didn’t maintain their faith. They are damned, for they follow in the footsteps of Cain. For profit they give themselves over to Balaam’s error. They are destroyed in the uprising of Korah. These people are like jagged rocks just below the surface of the water waiting to snag you when they join your love feasts. They feast with you without reverence. They care only for themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; fruitless autumn trees, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom the darkness of the underworld is reserved forever.
Jude 1:4-5, 11-13 CEB
So what is going on here in these passages that are warnings for us today? When you look into the meanings behind these verses there are many layers. What I want to highlight is that even when we are in the midst of evil, even those that worship Satan and his kingdom, we must hold fast to the profession of our faith. Clearly, those that were compromising the message of the pure gospel and who had intentions to disrupt and distort the message of Christ, had crept into the church. This is not metaphorical. This is the reality that we are living today.
We have gotten into such a casual mentality that we forget that God is the King of Kings. We’ve taken his grace as a license to act a fool and disgrace ourselves and do things that make Him turn His face away in sorrow because He cannot look upon sin.
Grace and salvation cost our Dear Father the ultimate, the sacrifice of His dear son Jesus Christ. Do you remember when Jesus was hanging on the cross and He asked the Father why He had forsaken Him because the Father had to turn away while Jesus was enshrouded in your sin and mine?
Listen, I have seen people play church and done it myself. We don’t have any more time to mess around in greasy grace. Satan is doing a wonderful job, I hate to say, by lulling Christians to sleep, even having preachers and others either completely denounce the gospel or say things that are so absurd such as there is no real Heaven and no real Hell. These folks are going to find out the hard way if their hearts don’t turn back to their Creator.
Do you notice how so many churches don’t give altar calls anymore or explain that there has to be repentance from your sin because you are in fact a sinner when you come to Christ? (Hey even my phone right now was trying to use every word except the word sinner.) Do you notice how many of the churches have removed the physical altars? Do you notice how our programs divide the family instead of unifying it because we send everybody off into separate rooms by age groups as the rule rather than the special occasion or exception?
Do you notice that we are trying to be so friendly to the world that we are not distinct and set apart? We are called by evening so-called Christian leaders to compromise. I’ve been told over and over again in my life to pipe down….When I have shared part of the vision God has called me to, I had someone try to change it and tell me what they thought God was probably saying instead (I suppose in their paradigm, women are not able to preach). I know preachers who are mincing words and afraid to just boldly tell folks that you need to get saved before you can join in the ministry teams because they’re trying to woo and coo. Stop it! I love my pastor friends so much that I will speak the truth to them.
We have all fallen short the glory of God. We are all sinners who need to be saved and don’t forget this part please, transformed into the image of Christ. He is not going to join our program. He says that He’s giving us the choice of life or death. We have the opportunity to move toward Him. He is not going to move toward our lives of compromise.
I agree with Bobby Conner that we shouldn’t apologize for nearly saying something. And I like what he told a preacher that told him to not come on too strong because they might scare away those that aren’t saved. He asked where they were going to scare them to, Hell 1 or Hell 2. They’re lost, he said. There’s Heaven and there’s Hell. That’s it and time is short.
The Bible says to come out from among them and be separate. If I have the same torn up, foul mouth as the world, why would they want the Jesus that I say I’ve got? (Been there, so I know.) When I’m thirsty, I want water or in other words the solution to my problem. A lot of those in the pulpit will be held accountable for trying to put the pseudo-spiritual equivalent of a bandage on Vesuvius.
Let us pray that we are found awake, alert and with oil in our lamps. Let us keep watch and speak the truth in love. And women especially, may I encourage you that speaking the truth in love does not mean to be devoid of boldness or authority. Know who you are in God Almighty, Your Father Who created you in His image to be conformed into the likeness of his son Jesus Christ.