Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Revelation: Discovering Life for Today and Eternity – Week Four

Pergamum:  The Steadfast Church in the Midst of Evil

It’s a big deal that there’s a sharp sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth.  If you remember that God spoke the universe into being, it’s not so difficult to imagine that His words can – and will – judge every living thing.

I was intrigued by Sue’s question about how Jesus would describe where I live.  I suppose evil is rampant in most communities these days.  My town is no different.  Except there are tons of churches here!  Not what you think of when you hear Las Vegas, Nevada mentioned in conversation.  But it’s true.  Still the sin that is tolerated is mind-boggling.  The compromise that is going on is heartbreaking.

In this week’s video teaching, Sue talks about the gray areas that Christians face.  These are the issues that aren’t deal breakers when it comes to our faith.  The example Sue discusses is eating food sacrificed to idols.  In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul taught that it’s okay to eat this meat in your home.  But it’s not okay to eat it if you’re appearing to worship a pagan idol.  We’re not supposed to engage in any behavior that causes a brother or sister to stumble.  That’s the measuring gauge to use when trying to decide if you can engage in “gray area” behavior.

Regardless of the temptation and sin that is happening near you, Jesus implies that victory is possible.  The Pergamum church struggled with sexual sin, idolatry and false teaching among other things.  How can you be victorious over these things?  By recognizing sin and repenting.  By recognizing temptation and running from it.  By putting faith in Christ because He has overcome.  By living according to the Holy Spirit.  By not loving the world or anything in it.  Through Christ, all of this is possible.

What a rich week of study this was!  Has it changed how you’re praying?  Has it changed your behavior?

Memorize:  1 John 2:15-16

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