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The Compromising Church (Worldliness) (2 of 5)
Introduction: Unlike Ephesus that had forsaken their love for Christ and Smyrna that had suffered for their devotion to Christ, Pergamon compromised the truth of God and embraced the cultural norms of their day.
Pergamon was a religious city. It was a city where religion and religious ideas seemed to thrive. There was an ancient saying that whenever any weird idea was expelled from one place, it would end up in Pergamon. It had many religious institutions and organizations and was given over almost entirely to wealth and foolishness.
Pergamon was the 1st city of Asia to receive permission to build a temple dedicated to the worship of a living ruler. In 29 BC Augusta granted permission for the erection of the temple.
A. W. Tozer wrote, "blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they should not be made accountable for anything." Compromise has been a cancer in the church from its inception.
Citizens were required to burn a pinch of incense at the foot of Caesar Augusta's statue, honoring him as a god. Those who refused to do so were immediately arrested and imprisoned.
Pergamon was a city that understood authority and the chain of command, therefore, Jesus introduced Himself as the one "has the sharp two-edged sword." In ancient times, the highest symbol of authority was the sword. When one talked about the sword, one talked about absolute authority.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart."
The one who carried the sword in ancient times had the right of life or death. Jesus introduced Himself to a city which was a political headquarters as the One with the sword. He is the One in charge, who has abs ...
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