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Pastor’s Desk: Pergamum, the Compromising Church

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 11:39 am

By Reverend Marcus Blair, Grandview Baptist Church

We have been studying together the Seven Churches of Revelation. Today, we are looking at Pergamum – the Compromising Church. When it comes to what Jesus has said – when it comes to the Bible – compromising your standards if most definitely a negative thing. We are called to hold fast to the truth of the Word.

V.13 Christ told the church they were dwelling where Satan’s throne is. Sounds like a horrible thing to say about a city, but let me explain some things about Pergamum and I think you’ll agree. First of all, they had a massive temple there to the worship of Zeus, and it was actually shaped like a giant throne. You look up on the hill, there’s a massive throne there, that’s supposed to be the seat of Zeus. Instead, Christ called it Satan’s throne. Once a year, if you lived in the Roman empire, you had to go to this temple, put incense on the altar in front of a sculpture of Caesar, and say out loud, “Caesar is lord.”

Does this sound Satanic yet? This church was in a city where they were surrounded by demonic worship. People worshiped Zeus, and declared a mere man, Caesar, to be lord. But the church, according to verse 13, was holding fast to the name of Jesus and did not deny the faith. That’s the kind of witness we need to have. The name of Jesus is held fast – we cling to it. And we will not deny the faith but instead confess it all over the world that we believe. The world needs to hear!

Now this church in Pergamum had every reason, by the world’s standards, to deny their faith. They faced horrible persecution. They had a martyr named Antipas who was actually killed there. History tells us he was killed when he refused to declare Caesar as lord, declaring Jesus is LORD instead. He would not worship the statue of Caesar, so he was considered a turncoat, guilty of treason. So you know what they did? They put him inside a bull made of brass, lit a fire under it, and roasted him alive like in an oven. EVEN THAT didn’t stop the church.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.