Thoughts On Revelation (4)
Two of the churches Jesus addresses are similar in several ways. Pergamos and Thyatira were infiltrated by false teaching and immorality. Jesus tells the believers in Pergamos that they dwell in the midst of Satan’s throne. That description is striking and relative to their city. It was said that Pergamos was given to idolatry more than all Asia. Behind the city stood a thousand feet tall hill covered with heathen temples. Foremost was a huge altar to Zeus, the supreme deity in Greek culture. Emperor worship was also prominent in Pergamos. Jesus commends them for holding fast to His name and not denying Him during great persecution. Because of His love for them He warns them to repent of the things that were wrong and offensive to Him.
While Pergamos allowed compromise, Thyatira had become downright corrupt. They were working hard and serving, but they allowed a false prophetess to teach and seduce the people to practice sexual immorality. She had been offered the opportunity to repent but would not. Jesus tells this church that great trouble is in store if it does not heed His words regarding repentance.
May we hear in the Savior’s words to these churches the message to the church in our age. If idolatry is anything we place above God, and it is, then there is a warning for us. We must ask ourselves where God fits into our priorities. Sexual immorality is rampant and worshiped in our culture. Even so, God’s standard has not changed. Each believer must be on guard against compromise and corruption in his or her own heart. As always, Jesus says to His people, “If you have ears to hear, then hear what the Spirit is saying….”
– Terry A. Morrison