What are the greatest threats to the church today? Is it persecution? Is it fighting over trivial matters? Is it gossip or apathy? While all of these things can threaten the life and vibrancy of a group of believers, the greatest threat might be more subtle. The letters to the churches in the book of Revelation help us understand Jesus’ concern and priorities for His church. They help us understand what threatens the life of the church, and what He will not put up with in His people.
In the letter to the church at Pergamum, it is clear that the greatest threat was their tolerance for false doctrine. In other words, they were a confused church. Jesus was clear that what they believed was indeed important! There were some in this church that were falling away from the truth of Scripture and embracing beliefs that were damaging the church and the witness of Christ. In this letter, Jesus lovingly confronts their confusion, and challenges them to come home to the truth.
What happens to a church that falls away from the truth? What happens when simple confusion becomes a choice to believe lies? Jesus says that this church finds itself at war with God! May we learn from the church at Pergamum to guard the truth closely, and to hold to the truth of God’s Word!