Why do we emphasize doctrine in an age in which it is disdain? Why do we hold tightly to our beliefs in a day in which everyone believes what they want?
Revelation 2:11-17, the Lord’s message to the church at Pergamum, deals with the danger of doctrinal comprise. This church was indifferent to subtle influences that corrupted its teachers and endangered the spiritual life of its membership.
George Barna researches some interesting stats concerning Christians and their beliefs.
Almost half of born again Christians (45%) agree that Satan is not a living being, but is a symbol of evil.
About one-third of born again Christians (34%) believe that if a person is good enough they can earn a place in heaven.
Fifteen percent, of born again Christians claim that after Jesus was crucified and died, He did not return to life physically.
The last stat is startling, because one out of four (26%) born again Christians believe that it doesn’t matter what faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons; a belief held by 56% of non-Christians.
Dr. Loraine Boettener said the chief need of the present age is great theology. Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones said we could not have the benefits of Christianity if we shed its doctrines.
Paul said the time would come when they will not endure sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3). Therefore, doctrinal defection is a real danger for the church today.
Every church must maintain doctrinal purity. The message to the church at Pergamum is valid for the church today.
Diligence, discernment, and discipline are necessary to maintain doctrinal purity, for we are commanded to contend earnestly for the faith that has been once for all delivered to the Saints.