How Did that Get into the Church?

In 1871, an American named Heinrich Schlemann began excavating an ancient city in Turkey. To the amazement of many, this retired businessman had discovered the lost city of Troy. Today, you can still see the ruins of its towers and its walls, which were 16 feet think. According to Homer’s Illiad, the Greeks besieged Troy for ten years without success. After the death of the warrior Achilles, many wanted to give up the fight. But the king of Ithaca, Odysseus, came up with a plan to get the Greek army into Troy. Idysseus built an immense wooden horse. He and his warriors hid inside it. After leaving the horse at the gates of Troy, the Greek army sailed away. The Trojans, thinking the Greeks had given up and had left the horse as a gift, brought in inside the gates. That night, while the Trojans were sleeping, the Greek ships quietly returned. The soldiers in the horse slipped out and opened the city gates. The Greek army quietly entered Troy and started fires all over the city. The Trojans awoke to find their city in flames. As they tried to flee, there were killed by the waiting Greeks.

The story of the Trojan Horse and the fall of Troy have come to represent the subversion of anything from within. That is what was happening to the church at Pergamos. Whereas Satan was trying to crush the Smyrnan church by persecution from without, He was trying to collapse the Pergamos congregation through corruption from within.

That is the way our enemy operates. He either tries to crush us with hardship and hostility or corrupt us with compromise. And we need to take heed to the fact that what ten years of outward assault on Troy was unable to accomplish, was accomplished in one night when the enemy was brought within the city. The Trojan Horse at Pergamos was what Jesus called the doctrine of Balaam. It became a stumbling clock to the believers, leading them to accept idolatry and immorality while trying to maintain their distinctiveness as Christians. The danger of the doctrine of Balaam tries to wed the people of God to the ways of the world, and that is something that has never worked and will never work.

  1. God’s people are to be a peculiar people.
  2. God’s people are to be a distinct people.
  3. God’s people are to be a separate people.

Friendship with the world is not an option. We are not to worship at its altars. We are not to lean it ways. We dare not be pressed into its mold. Yet, that is what was happening in the church at Pergamos. And it continues to happen in the churches today. The doctrine of Balaam is still finding its way into modern congregations, opening the way for worldliness to destroy the people of God. Therefore, we must remain faithful to God and His ways all our days.

This article is from the Pulpit Preview, June 27, 2011, Mark N. Posey editor. If you want more articles like the one above you can send your request to [email protected].

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