Agonizomai: Rev 2:14 - Pergamum the Morally Compromised Church<br>Infiltration of Lax Morals Tolerated

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rev 2:14 - Pergamum the Morally Compromised Church
Infiltration of Lax Morals Tolerated

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Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.

The question is not whether the tares must grow up with the wheat. Jesus already answered that question for us. {Mt 13:24-30} The question is whether they should be tolerated in the church. Jesus explained that the "field" of His parable was the world. He did not say it was the church. The church and the world must exist together until the end of the age, and in the whole mass of humanity there are those belonging to Christ who, at any one time, may look just like the world.

They may be as yet unsaved. They may be not growing. They may be backslidden. Only God knows because only God can produce the fruit in them that proves they were His children - and He will do so when and how it pleases Him. So there are any number of reasons that God does not destroy the wicked world of men forthwith. He is gathering His sheaves into His barn through the process of their justification and sanctification. It unfolds on time, seen perfectly by His omniscient eye, but often hidden from our own.

Now, it is certain that tares do indeed get into the church especially into a church that is unwary and unwatchful. A church that does not discipline or hold tenaciously to right doctrine is ripe for the infiltration of all manner of false teachers and heresies. And the message Jesus is giving to the church here, and to churches in general, is not to tolerate false teachers amongst them. He is telling the church not to allow worldliness to creep in through false doctrine.

It may be necessary for the church exist side-by-side with the world, but it is now and always was to be "not of" the world. There must be a constant abiding in the Truth and a continual reproof and rejection of all that is contrary to the truth. This includes separation from the world within the church. The church is to be separate, different, holy, pure, rejoicing in the truth and not partaking in the lusts of the flesh which hold the world captive.

See, then, that Jesus has something against the Peragmite pastor and church because there are among the congregation those who hold to worldly, licentious, idolatrous, false teaching. People who, in fact, exhort God’s children to participate in the world’s ways. They are compromisers and corrupters. It is Jesus who holds the church accountable for tolerating such in their midst! How does that stack up to the "tolerance" of today? See Who is judging? See Who it is that is rebuking this carelessness? The Lord is not speaking here to the Balaamites, but the tolerators of them. He is not speaking to the sheep led astray by these wolves, but to the church as a whole, and the leadership in particular for being so unwatchful.

Today there is compromise everywhere in the church. The world has infiltrated worship, content, evangelism, and even preaching. Worship teams perform in the spotlight, with the "house lights" darkened for 20 minutes at a time in order to get people "in the mood" for worship - looking for all the world just like the world.

Evangelism no longer declares boldly the majesty of God, the misery of man and the mercy of Christ - but skirts the issue of human depravity for fear of offending the sensitive seeker. Growth is secured by using modern marketing methods in which the message is determined by the potential market and is tailored to appeal to the largest number.

Much preaching avoids so called sensitive topics and well established, sound, clear Biblical doctrines are compromised by the infiltration of the worldly values of rank modernism (and now, postmodernism), radical feminism and relativism.

All of these things erode the simplicity of the gospel and lead to idolatry and compromise with worldly values. Jesus rebukes all compromise that brings or tolerates worldliness in the church. He demands that we rebuke, reprove and, if necessary remove it. "I have this against you," says the Lord of heaven, the Redeemer of your soul, "That there are those among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam..." He is clearly blaming the church for tolerating this in its midst. Care must be taken not to start witch-hunts, but care must also be taken not to let the wiles of the devil bring the world into the church.

Reading the following will be instructive...{Nu 22:2-24:25 Nu 31:7-20}


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, brother Tony. It is so refreshing to hear such words of truth and wisdom! Your podcasts are like an oasis in the desert. May God answer your prayers and fill you with joy.:-)

12:43 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...

Hi again, Roxylee,

I am always humbled and intimidated when God speaks to the heart of one of His own through something I have said. Especially since, not meeting the standard that I preach, I am open to the charge of hypocrisy.

But, if I have spoken rightly, it was not me, but God whose truth went forth and the wonder is always that He uses broken and imperfect vessels for that purpose.

Strangely enough, Roxylee, you are scheduled to make an appearance on Agonizomai on Thursday the 14th, when you will be singing, "Delight Yourself in the Lord".

So don't have a double-take when you fire up your iPod and hear yourself singing.



1:15 pm  

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