Welcome to Sunday School
Sunday School Lesson - June 20, 2021
"Uncompromising With Truth"
"When It Comes To Biblical Truth About Christ,
There Is No Room For Compromise"
12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges.
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and has not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou has there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come to thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
KEY WORDS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT THEM:
1. The doctrine of Balaam - During Israel's wilderness wanderings, Balac, king of Moab, was afraid of the Israelites. The Israelites had come out of years of bondage in Egypt, and Balac was afraid they were going to rise up and kill him and his people. Balac sent word for Balaam to come and place a curse on the Israelites so that his army could destroy them.
Balaam was a prophet, and God told him not to place a curse on the Israelites, but instead offer words of blessing. Balaam knew he could not curse the Israelites, so instead he taught Balac how to manipulate and entice the Israelites into sin. He enticed them by causing them to believe eating food that was sacrificed to idols was acceptable. Balac also let them to believe sexual immorality was ok. Balac could not outwardly defeat the Israelites through moral and spiritual compromise (Num. 22-25)
2. The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes -- Little is known about this sect, but it appears to have allowed people to live without rules against self-indulgence. It may have been closely linked to the teachings of Balaam. This would explain the attraction of pagan idolatry and sexual immorality. Like those following Balaam, the Nicolaitanes were leading people to compromise the truth that only comes through Jesus.
3. Hidden Manna -- The Life Application Bible (KJV) has these comments: Hidden manna suggests the spiritual nourishments the faithful believers will receive. As Israelites traveled toward the promised land, God provided manna from Heaven for their physical nourishment. Jesus, as the bread of life provides spiritual nourishment that satisfies our deepest hunger.
4. A White Stone -- Matthew Henry Commentary has these comments: This white stone is absolution from the guilt of sin, alluding to ancient custom of giving a white stone to those acquitted on trial and a black stone to those condemned. The new name is the name of adoption. None can read the evidence of a man's adoption but himself.
The City of Pergamos
Pergamos was located north of Ephesus and Smyrna and was about fifteen miles inland from the Aegean Sea. This city of around 160,000 was the religious and cultural center of the region. As a cultural center, some estimate that Pergamos may have housed as many as 200,000 papyrus and parchment volumes in its library. As a religious center, it was homes to four major pagan temples: 1) the temple to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and the arts; 2) the temple of Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy; 3) the temple of Zeus, the ruler of the heavens and father of other gods, and 4) the shrine of Asclepius, the god of medicine, which was expanded into a popular medical spa. These temples were built upon the city's most prominent place, the acropolis, which rose nearly a thousand feet in the midst of the city.
The Church of Pergamos
Commended for: Remaining faithful to Christ and His name even under the threat of death.
1) Holding to false teaching.
2) Eating food sacrificed to idols.
3) Participating in sexual immorality.
While this letter was written to the church at Pergamos, it also could have been written to many of our churches today. So many churches are turning away from sound doctrine and the truth of God's Word. If we compromise our position on biblical truth, then we also stand in danger of receiving judgment. God honors those with uncompromising faith, and we would do well to remain uncompromising in our churches as well as in our individual lives.
Compromise can never be a part of a believer's life when it comes to standing on the truth of Christ.
Attend Sunday School at our church - Sunday, June 20, 2021 -- for more information on this lesson.