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Summary: How does the Church in Pergamum compare to our Church? 3rd in series of the Seven Churches of Revelation.

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To the Church of Pergamum

In this series on the Seven Churches of Revelation, we have examined the Church in Ephesus and the Church in Smyrna. Today we will look at the Church in Pergamum and not only how our Church compares to it, but also how we as individual Christians compare to the Christians in Pergamum.

Let’s read:

Rev 2:12-17

12 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.

13 I know where you live-- where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city-- where Satan lives.

14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.

15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.

16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 He 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. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

(NIV)

The city of Pergamum was located north of Ephesus and Smyrna and about 15 miles inland from the Aegean Sea. It has been estimated that Pergamum had a population of more than 160,000. Pergamum was the cultural, religious and intellectual center of the region with a university that had a library of about 200,000 handwritten volumes. There were four major pagan temples located there: the temples to Athena (the goddess of wisdom and the arts), Asclepisis (the god of medicine, whose insignia was the entwined serpent on a staff, which is still the medical symbol today), Dionysus (the god of wine and orgy), and Zeus (ruler of the heavens and father of other gods).

Let’s look at the message for the Church at Pergamum.

Rev 2:

12 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.

Christ is representing Himself to the pastor of the church in Pergamum as one who has the authority to judge.

In:

Heb 4:12-13

12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

(NIV)

Christ is saying that He sees everything that we do. He knows our hearts and our thoughts. We will one day have to give account of our actions, attitudes and thoughts to the One who has the power to divide soul and spirit. If we think that we can get away with anything without God knowing it, then we are deceiving ourselves. God is all knowing. He knows us better than we know ourselves.


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