True faithfulness requires us to endure opression from outside the church and fight corruption within the church.
Published September 12th, 2019
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
Recipient of the Letter
of him who has the sharp two- edged sword.
Author of the Letter
“‘I know where you dwell,
where Satan’s throne is.
Yet you hold fast
Concessive to 13a-c
and you did not deny
even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness,
who was killed among you,
where Satan dwells.
But I have a few things against you:
you have some there
1st Thing Against
who hold the teaching of Balaam,
who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel,
so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols
Purpose of 14d
and practice sexual immorality.
So also you have some
2nd Thing Against
who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
I will come to you soon
and war against them
with the sword of my mouth.
He who has an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the one who conquers
I will give some of the hidden manna,
and I will give him a white stone,
with a new name written on the stone
that no one knows
except the one who receives it.’
Context Book The third of the seven letters from the Son of Man to the churches. Sharp, two-edged sword refers back to the description of the Son of Man in 1:16 Faithful and True will strike down the nations with a sword coming from his mouth (19:15) Nicolaitans in 2:6 Biblical Balaam's evil included mercenary prophesy and attacks on the purity of Israel via Moabite prostitutes Paul's discussion of meat offered to idols in 1 Cor 8-10 The hidden manna is a reference to Wilderness Israel Historical Pergamum was the center of emperor worship in the region Pergamum also was home to temples to Zeus, Athena, Dionysus, and Asklepios Structure I. Introduction (v. 12) A. Recipient - Church at Pergamum B. Author - Him who has the sharp two-edged sword II. Commendation (v. 13) A. Hold fast my name while dwelling where Satan's throne is B. Did not deny my faith when Antipas was killed where Satan dwells III. Condemnation (vv. 14-15) A. You have some who hold the teaching of Balaam – the Nicolaitans IV. Result (v. 16) A. Repent B. [OR] I will come to you and war against them V. Conclusion (17) A. Call to listen B. Promise to conquerors 1. Hidden manna 2. A white stone with a new name Aim The son of man observes that the church at Pergamum is faithful when faced with government oppression, but fails to properly address corruption within the church. Gospel Christ is coming and his coming is either glorious or terrifying depending on who he is coming too. The promise of eternal life should motivate faithfulness when facing oppression and corruption. Conclusion and Application Keep the faith. Do not fail to overcome, whether because of danger outside the church or corruption within the church. Sermon Outline I. The Conquering Church Endures Oppression II. The Conquering Church Expels Corruption