sermon: Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen (Part Three)

Church History
Martin G. Collins
Given 26-Jan-19; Sermon #1471; 73 minutes

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Many Satanically-influenced revisionist historians attempt to destroy our heritage by hiding and denigrating historical records. Christ cautions the Pergamos congregation to shun the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, characterized as "freedom of the flesh." False prophets had infiltrated the congregation of Pergamos, bringing about a blasphemous sword, a counterfeit to the truthful word of God. Pergamos, a fortified city, was often symbolized as a physical sword. Because God's people at Pergamos refused to rely on the superior two-edged Sword (Hebrews 4:12) to fight heresies, they suffered from the physical sword of persecution. The Church of God suffers when it harbors those who compromise and offend. When a segment of the Paulicians in 800 AD assumed a posture of militant of retaliation, the Byzantine Empire "struck back," killing 100,000 and forcing the remnant to flee westward into parts of Russia, Poland, Germany, and France. Later groups—the Cathers, the Albigenses, the Lombards, the Henricans, and the Waldensians—spread the undiluted Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout Europe, translating the Bible into the vernacular and setting up religious schools to counter Roman Catholic heresies such as purgatory, the veneration of Mary, and praying to saints. The Pergamos epistle of Revelation 2 instructs God's people that relying on human reason may tempt us to compromise, resulting in the erosion of holy, righteous character. As God's called-out ones living in a milieu influenced by Satan's deceit, we must bravely resist godlessness, relying on the succor of the sword of the Lord (Hebrews 4:12).

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