Summary: This sermon in my Revelation series deals with churches that ignore sexual immorality within the membership.
The Church At Pergamos
12 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, 'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
13I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
14But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
15Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it." '
Our look at the Book of Revelation continues today.
Chapters 2 and 3 are the letters Jesus wanted John
to send to the 7 churches in Asia Minor.
So far, we've covered His message
to the church in Ephesus and the church in Smyrna.
Now we come to the church in Pergamos.
In some Bible translations, it is called Pergamos.
This city was located on a mountain ridge.
It had many pagan temples.
That's why Jesus calls the place "where Satan's throne is."
The Christian church in Pergamos was firmly established.
However, Christians there faced strong temptations
from the pagan worship that surrounded them.
Several gods were worshipped in Pergamos.
The 4 main gods were Zeus, Athena, Dionysus, & Asclepius.
Along with these gods,
the Roman emperors were also worshipped.
In 17 B.C. the first temple to emperor worship
was built in Pergamos by Ceasar Augustus.
So let's begin looking at today's passage from Chapter 2.
Verse 12 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, 'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
Jesus has some cutting things to say to this church!
The word sword is translated from the Greek word "rhomphaia" .
The Rhomphaia was a close combat bladed weapon
with a straight or slightly curved single-edged blade.
It was used as both a thrusting and slashing weapon.
In addition to the 2 times it appears in today's passage,
we find it used back in chapter 1
to describe the words spoken by Jesus.
Revelation 1:16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
It also appears in chapter 19
to describe how Jesus defeats all evil forces
when He comes back at the end of the 7 years of Tribulation.
Here in Verse 12, the words "a sharp two-edged sword"
refer to the word of God.
Ephesians 6:17 says, And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
Hebrews 4:12 says, For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
So here in Chapter 2 Verse 12
Jesus speaks with authority and judgment.
Obviously, what He is about to say to the Pergamos Christians
will cut deep into their hearts.
You see, it's the word of God that convicts us of our sin.
It's what leads us to repentance and salvation.
You can find many churches with fancy buildings and furnishings,
and lots of activities and programs for the youth.
Some churches offer lots of entertainment in the services.
However, people will NOT be saved by all those things!
The word of God must be preached and taught
if we want to see people truly saved!
Verse 13I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name, ...
So Jesus knows exactly what has been going on in this church.
Though people might think it's a great place to attend,
Jesus knows the true condition of that church.
Jesus knows that church sat in the middle of a pagan society.
Pergamos had become a place where Satan ruled the people.
Jesus says it's "where Satan's throne is".
I believe there are many cities like that today!
There may be lots of churches in those cities,
but all kinds of evil things dominate those places.