“But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.” Revelation 2:6
The doctrine of the Nicolaitans was that if you believe in Jesus, you could sin all you wanted to and still go to heaven. We see this doctrine in our churches today. The lesson for us is that the church of the Lord Jesus throughout the ages has been plagued by those of the Nicolaitan spirit. The only way to recognize false teaching is to be intimately familiar with truth through the diligent study of the Word of God. In American culture, Christians now face a choice to blend in society or stand out in this culture of compromise. We cannot serve both God and money.
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. 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. 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. “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)
All sin is hateful to Christ, as it should be to His followers, as we hate men’s evil deeds, not the men themselves. For the church at Pergamos, Jesus had not commendation, but censure. Unlike the Ephesians, they actually embraced the teachings of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:15). Jesus warns them that unless they repent, they are in danger of the judgment that is sure to fall on those who teach false doctrine, attack His church, and destroy His people. The sword of judgment is poised over their heads, and His patience is not limitless (Revelation 2:16; 19:15).