Hallelujah to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We will be singing this once the Lord Jesus raptures His Church! I can picture all believers from the time of Jesus through today, in one voice, singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus! Can’t you? It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. 🙌
Today’s letter to the churches in Revelation 2 is about the church called Pergamos. In the church age, it existed between 312-606 AD. This is the age where the Roman Catholic Church began. Pergamos was well known for its reading and knowledge. They had the biggest library with over 200,000 books! These books were later taken by Mark Anthony and given to Cleopatra as a gift. It is at this point in time that the church married the world and adopted worldly practices which looked more “Roman” than early church doctrine. Despite Constantine making Christianity the mandated religion, the “changing of the heart” of the doctrine was taken out and man-made doctrine replaced it. Conversion was replaced by mandates. Here are a few of those practices which were adopted:
- praying for the dead and purgatory
- worshipping saints and angels
- worshipping Mary
- wearing robes and clerical collars
But what does Jesus say about this? He made it a point to document it in the Scriptures so we would learn from it:
Satan had a field day during this timeframe. Rules and regulations crept in and they had just enough “truth” to capture an audience but works and traditions of men were held to a higher level.
Also, take note that Jesus commended them prior to telling this church what He had against them. Jesus’ title here was “Him which hath the sharp sword with two edges.” What does that remind you of? The Lord doesn’t mince His words. He uses His Word to convict the heart and to teach us, amen?
Jesus reprimands them for allowing the doctrine of Nicolaitans in the church. We learned in prior posts that this doctrine was one of hierarchy and ruling over the laity. Notice that the Lord says it here again: “which thing I hate”! If God hates something, we should beware, amen? Jesus calls them to repent! This church didn’t just hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans. They allowed those deeds into their church! Praise the Lord for a remnant that remained holy through Christ and His Word.
Where are you today, Reader? Are you standing in church services because you were dragged there? Is the church you attend merely a repetition of the week before: Stand, kneel, sit at specific times? Traditions don’t make a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car. The conversion of the heart is what’s needed: repentance and salvation through Jesus Christ and Him alone. No amount of good deeds can add to your salvation. There is a change of heart that actually happens at true conversion. The old sinful life is to be abandoned and the new life in Christ must take over.
If works are added to salvation, the gift is no longer a gift – it is no longer free. That is why you don’t see a change in one’s life if they are trusting in works. The works of religion are a heavy burden. There is no freedom and no change in the heart because of the trust in those works. It is Christ’s work on the cross and nothing more!
If you gave me a gift for my birthday but then you told me that there were several things I had to do in order to receive that gift, it is no longer a gift: it has become something that I had to work for in order to receive it. If I now have to do something in order to receive it, it appears that I “earned” this gift and it is no longer free. Do you see the difference? This is what the church at Pergamos was allowing into their church. This doctrine is of the devil and not from the Lord. The Apostle Paul taught the church in Rome in three separate verses above that it is a free gift. It’s salvation through Christ alone, friend!
Friend, it is no coincidence that God has placed you here for such a time as this so that you may be saved if you are not already. Please click here and the link will open up in a separate tab to You Can Be Born Again and Know It!