“Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” Revelation 2:16
These words were a great warning for the church in Pergamos. Why did Jesus say these rough words? He is against those in His church that shows a tolerant attitude toward sin. This warning also applies for believers in the present.
The Lord addressed the church in Pergamos because there were those among them who hold the doctrine of Balaam. This doctrine teaches how faith in the Lord and worldly living can go together. Balaam was a prophet who sold his service to the king of Moab. For the sake of wealth, he was willing to curse the Israelites who had just gone out from Egypt. However, the Lord changed that curse to blessing. It did not stop there. Balaam also advised the king of Moab to test the Israelites whether or not they will commit idolatry and debauchery by sending women of Moab to commit adultery with them.
At the end, the Israelites were protected from the spiritual attack. But physically, they were defeated. This illustrates the life of God’s people who have faith that saves, but still tolerate sin. Jesus’ warning is “those who overcome.” This refers to the spiritual race of faith that every believer will face from now until the end of times – it is the race to defeat every worldly lust and desire.
Worldliness consists of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. The lust of the flesh is something that immediately needs satisfaction. In the book of Galatians, Paul reveals that the works of the flesh are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like. Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. They will lose the power and presence of God that had cared for their lives and saved them.
The lust of the eyes talks about greed. The story of David and Bathsheba reminds us of David’s greed to have the beautiful Bathsheba who had a husband at the time. David’s greed resulted in adultery, deceit, evil, and murder. As a consequence, the child that was born from Bathsheba died and the sword never departed his descendants.
The pride of life is wanting something to be shown off to others (arrogance). Haman the son of Hammedatha was granted the power of King Ahasuerus. All the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman. But, someone named Mordecai would not bow before Haman and Haman was filled with wrath. He planned to hang Mordecai and sought to destroy all the Jews throughout the kingdom of Persia. But, God defended the Israelites. Haman ended up being hanged instead.
The Word of God says, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The deepest sin is when we, as God’s church, start to lose our first love with the Lord. Worldliness will diminish that first love. Our prayer should be: let church of God in the end times experience victory in every worldly thing. Amen. God bless.
Source: Article from GBI Gatot Subroto, Jakarta