Summary: The church needs to stand firm in what it believes and teaches.
“When you think of the most evil place in the world to live, where would it be?”
Imagine if you will that you are living in a city that Jesus says is the place where the throne of Satan resides.
Would it be hard to live for Jesus in that type of city?
In the third letter to the churches the church at Pergamum was faced with a bad situation.
The church was located in the city that Jesus said was the place where Satan’s throne was located.
The city was the center of four of the world’s major cults of the time. It was not an easy place to live out your faith for Jesus.
The culture of the city was having an influence on the church. The worship practices of the cults looked like fun to people. The practices were generally centered on sexual immorality.
The church had some things they were doing well, but they were also struggling with some issues.
Let us see what Jesus is trying to tell us through His message to the church at Pergamum.
I. A PICTURE OF THE LORD v12
• As in all of the letters to the seven churches, this one starts with a picture of the Lord.
• SLIDE #4
• Let’s begin with Revelation 2:12
• Revelation 2:12 (NASB) 12“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:
• In the first two letters Jesus is described in encouraging terms. He is described as the one who holds the stars, the one who has defeated death.
• In this letter, the description is one that is a little more intimidating. The one who has the two-edged sword?
• What is Jesus saying in this verse?
• The Romans ruled with the sword, you would do what they said, or die by the sword. This fear may have influenced some of the people to compromise the faith.
• He has the power and authority to separate of the saved from the lost at judgment time.
• The people may have feared what the government or the world could do to them, but Jesus is saying that He is the ultimate authority and power; He is to be listened to and respected more than the society around them. This verse shows Jesus as a picture of power and authority.
• We also have the same imagery in Hebrews 4:12
• SLIDE #5
• HEBREWS 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
• SLIDE #6
• Let us look at the praise that Jesus has for the church.
II. PRAISE FOR THE CHURCH v13
• This is one of the letters in which Jesus has some good things to say to the church, He wants them to be encouraged.
• Let’s look to verse 13 for the praise.
• SLIDE #7
• Revelation 2:13 (NASB) 13‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
• SLIDE #8
• Jesus knows their tough circumstances
• Sometimes people will make judgments about our actions when they do not know the circumstances behind them. Jesus is praising the church for the fact that they are trying to make a go of it in this terrible evil city.
• Living for Jesus is easy when we are gathered in the church; it is more difficult when we get out in the world.
• Jesus understands how tough it is for them. The church is being hit from all directions. The world is trying to do all it can to influence the church.
• This part of the passage once again shows that Jesus is involved in each of our lives; He knows what is happening with us.
• SLIDE #9
• Many in the church were holding on to the name of Jesus.
• What do you anchor to in your life when times get tough? What is the anchor to your soul?
• SLIDE #10
• Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,
• The hope that they had in Jesus was an anchor for their soul!
• In the midst of all the evil that was going on around them, they anchored themselves to the name of Jesus