Revelation 2:12-17 (KJV)

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 hast 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 hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock 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 Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto 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.

We all admire men and women of principle who are ready to pay a heavy price  for what they believe.

At the same time, we do well not to trust everyone who displays conviction. As we see all too often in the news, it is possible to have unsound beliefs that are not based on Scripture.

Even as Christians, we have to be careful, or we could easily mistake personal preferences for convictions.

We cannot afford to build our life’s foundation with any materials that are not totally scriptural. The apostle Paul told us that the quality of each man’s work will be tested by fire (1 Cor. 3:13), and that includes what we believe.

Such a test came to a church in a little town called Pergamum in Asia Minor. It was a foul place—Jesus even said that Satan’s throne was there. Evil men were disseminating the teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans throughout the local church. A man named Antipas, however, felt strongly that this teaching was wrong and should be confronted. So he stepped forward to oppose it, at the cost of his life.

Yes, Antipas was killed, but listen to the tribute the Lord Himself gave: He referred to this saint as “My witness, My faithful one.” And He commended the church in Pergamum with these words: “You hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas” (Rev. 2:13).

Thank God that the trial of our faith, even though tested by fire, will “result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

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