TAKE BACK THE THRONE
Lord, I am Yours; speak to me today.
Read Revelation 2:12–17
To the Church in Pergamum
12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.
14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. 15 Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you compromised?
Pergamum was a spiritual center for emperor worship, and it had a cliff-edge throne altar to the god Zeus, called here “Satan’s throne” (13). There were vast temples to Roman gods and, surrounded by such paganism, the Christian church was under enormous pressure. Tradition says that Bishop Antipas (13) was burned alive inside a bronze bull for refusing to deny his love for the Lord. The Christians had remained staunch in their faith despite the horrendous persecutions. But Jesus still has warnings for them (14–16). The dangers of compromise with pagan philosophies (15) and cultural mores (14) were and are huge. What is the result of such compromise (16b)?
Maybe we too need to know that it isn’t enough simply not to deny Christ; we also need to stand firm against “false teaching” (14,15) because the result of infidelity to the Gospel is enmity with Christ (16). We have to stand firm against the subtle influences of the world around us—whether it’s through social media, vague spirituality, entertainment, or empty religion. How can we be certain that we are standing firm and worshipping the one true God with all our heart, mind, and strength, individually and as a church (17a)?
What are the things that have crept into your life and taken the throne away from God? Where do you spend your time and energy? What might you need to do to restore him to his rightful place?
My Lord and King, I choose to follow You through thick and thin. Give me the strength to hold fast.