The letters to these seven churches are full of treasures. One of my favorites is Jesus telling the church in Thyatira that they are doing what He expects. He adds no other burden to them. They merely need to hold fast until He returns. So many well meaning Christians are always overwhelmed as they feel like they can never do enough.
In these chapters, John refers twice to the Nicolaitans, reprimanding the Church in Ephesus for tolerating them, and praising the Pergamum Church for rejecting them. So, who were the Nicolaitans?
In Acts 6:5, we are introduced to Nicolas as “a proselyte of Antioch,” who became one of the first deacons. His being a proselyte tells us he had been a Pagan idol worshiper before converting to Judaism, then to Christianity. Non-Biblical accounts from early Church writings indicate Nicolas of Antioch promoted a doctrine of anything goes. His followers saw nothing wrong with mixing elements of Pagan idol worship and occult practices with their watered down version of Christianity.
In the end, Jesus’ praise for the Ephesian Church indicates they had rejected the Nicolatian doctrine which promoted compromise between the Church and Pagan world. Isn’t it interesting, but not surprising, that today’s Church is under the same pressure to compromise and accept similar non-Biblical principles and reject the truth of God’s Word? Will we be grouped in with Ephesus or Pergamum ? The decision is ours