Studies in Revelation: Standing Against Compromise

Studies in Revelation: Standing Against Compromise

The temptation to assimilate to one’s culture has always been strong, hasn’t it? God’s most frequent warning to Israel as they approached Canaan was for them to take drastic measures to avoid embracing the idol worship of the inhabitants of the land (a warning they largely ignored).

And the church is no different. So many times over the years the church has looked more like its surrounding culture than it’s been what God called it to be: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

In the Lord’s letter to Pergamum he warned them about the “teaching of Balaam” and the “teaching of the Nicolaitans” . . . and both seem to have had something to do with compromising with one’s surrounding culture.

The pressure we feel today is enormous, as it always has been. Take sexuality, for example, which is specifically mentioned in this short letter. To hold to a traditional, biblical sexual ethic is to be completely out of step with the world we live in. Most of us are aware of denominations that have recently changed their official stance on marriage, gender, and sexuality (to the applause of the world, of course).

But that’s not the only issue. Movements on the left and the right encourage us to elevate some identity over our identity as followers of Jesus, and so many Christians happily (and ignorantly) comply.


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