September 25: Biblical Teaching (Revelation 2:12-17)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
This Sunday Josh Herring will conclude a series called Christians Creating Culture: An Examination of Gospel Identity, True Community, and Cultural Flourishing at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament).
 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.
 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.  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.  So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.  Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’
We come now to the third letter that Jesus commissions John to write to the 7 churches of Asia.
Christ commends the church in Pergamum for their loyalty in an extremely hostile environment under the very real threat of death, yet they are tolerating false teaching in their midst involving idolatry and sexual immorality. They have withstood persecution, but are permitting false teaching in the church. They hold fast the name of Jesus, yet permit teaching in the church that Jesus hates. This discrepancy cannot stand. Jesus calls them to repent of this compromise with the world or he will come in judgement.
False teaching is deceptive and a test to the faithfulness of a church. The temptation to stay quiet, especially if there are social and economic consequences for taking a stand, can be quite strong. But Jesus will not abide an inactive church that accommodates the teaching of his Word to the pressures of culture.
Review and Apply
1) Jesus knows how you have suffered for His sake. He also knows about your sins. How does Christ’s knowledge about these things impact your relationship with him?
2) What words of commendation do you think Christ would have for Christ Covenant Church?
3) What words of criticism?
4) As a member of our church, how might Christ be calling for repentance in your own life?
5) Consider your own radar for false teaching in the church. Could you catch it if you heard it? If not heretical, what about unhelpful or distracting teaching? Give examples.
6) Has the sexual revolution come to your place of employment? How so? How are you navigating the situation as a Christian?