Figtreeministry has a warning vision from the Lord Jesus regarding the sinful idol hearts of the Once Saved Always Saved groups, who stand on the doctrine of the Nicolations, that Sin no longer matters and obedience to Christ means you are trying to buy your way into Heaven..
Revelation 2New International Version
To the Church in Ephesus
2 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Roman rule required sacrifice to their gods. Emperors such as Decius attempted to weed out Christians by enforcing sacrifices to various Roman deities. Those who resisted faced persecution and possible execution.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Who were the Nicolaitans in the historical context?
Later in chapter 2 of Revelation, the author seems to link the practices of the Nicolaitans with the practices of those who listened to Balaam (Revelation 2:14-15). Those who followed Balaam back in Numbers used Midianite women to seduce the men of Israel and lead them to worship other gods. Examples of such acts have played out with Solomon, for instance, when his wives from pagan religions led him astray and after other gods (1 Kings 11:1-5).
Because Revelation seems to link Balaam with the Nicolaitans, one can assume the church of Ephesus faced a similar dilemma. Immersed in pagan Roman culture in that city, the sect of the Nicolaitans may have attempted to woo the Christians away from their religion, just as they had been wooed before.
Nicolaitans also appeared to eat food offered to idols, which Acts appears to decree against (Acts 15:29). Although this one doesn’t seem like a major offense, in their context, they had committed a serious spiritual crime.
Why does that last one matter?
The Nicolaitans appeared to conform to this Roman culture, and seemed to encourage Christians in Ephesus to do the same in a time of dire persecution (1 Corinthians 6:12). In eating the food given to the idols, this implies they had gone to the temples to receive this food and would’ve had to engage in the immoralities there to acquire this meat.
They seemed planted in the Asia Minor region to test the faithfulness of Christians in times where it seems that loyalty matters most: when physical and spiritual life and death are on the line.
The Nicolaitans Now
Although the sect of the Nicolaitans seems to have disappeared into historical obscurity, ideologies of this group seem to persist today.
In American culture, Christians now face a choice to blend in society or stand out in this culture of compromise. Many people in the church today, like Solomon, attempt to marry several wives in a spiritual sense. We serve both God and money and [insert idol here].
But we can only serve one master. Our culture is reaching a tipping point where we do have to choose who we will follow; it requires sacrifice. We can serve gods or God, and if we choose the latter, like the church of Ephesus, we resist the Nicolaitans and their attempts to drag us with them in acts of idolatry and immorality.
Prepare for the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Please repent, carry your cross daily and accept the free gift of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for payment for your sins.
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