Revelation 2:12-17

Nov 27, 2022    Nick Steinichen

Pergamum was a major city in the province of Asia, and a significant religious center. Behind the city was a large cone-shaped hill on which there were many temples to Greek gods, including a large altar to Zeus. Most significantly it was a center for the religious worship of the emperor. Christians would have been encouraged to offer sacrifices or incense on an altar to the emperor as a symbol of their patriotism and loyalty to Rome. However, no Christian in good conscience could participate in the worship of created things (Exodus 20:3; Daniel 3:16-18; Romans 1:25). The earliest Christian creed, “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:3) meant no compromise of loyalty to Christ was possible. The church in Pergamum was sorely tempted to “accommodate” Rome, and Jesus’ letter to the church challenges her to remain devoted to the Lord.