Sermon on February 26 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Revelation 2:12-17
What does Christ think of the church willing to die for His name, but not willing to deal with sin within?
‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him,; but if Baal is god, follow him’
(1 Kings 18:21)
1. A WORD OF FITTING PRAISE! (v12 – 13)
The church at Pergamum produced many willing to spill their blood for Jesus.
If Christ reigns over all, a church can flourish in the darkest place – and even with the greatest opposition.
2. A WORD OF LOVING REBUKE! (v14)
Satan has other methods besides persecuting to get his way. Do we fall for the seduction of Balaam?
Welcome notice at Pergamum : ‘All welcome – but you can live as you like, including sexual immorality!’
“Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t want to let anyone down – and number one on that list is God.”
(Clay Shiver to ‘Playboy’ magazine)
What you believe about Jesus (theology – see the Nicolaitans) will filter into what baggage from the past you throw off.
‘ … so you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.’ (1 Tim. 3:15)
3. A WORD OF CUTTING THREAT! (v16)
Judgement always begins within. We should expect the world to be worldly, but the church to be holy
‘Don’t you know, a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough’ (1 Cor. 5:6)
Is there an area of your life, is there an area of church life where we need to see Jesus with His sword?
4. A WORD OF AMAZING PROMISE! (v17)
To those who will not sit on the fence:
- Richer communion than we enjoy here ‘hidden manna’
‘But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed; You’re gonna have to serve somebody, Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord ; But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.’
- A greater confidence that Jesus loves you ‘a white stone with a new name on it’
Remember! How we live and love together at IBC Brussels matters. Live for the white stone, not the sword.
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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- When you think of Jesus, what comes into your mind? Do you think of Him as a warrior with a double-edged sword in His hand? Give reasons for your answer. Why would He appear in this way to the church at Pergamum?
- Discuss the hypocrisy going on in the church at Pergamum. How did Balaam get the Israelites to relax their guard so they would not be a threat to Balak, king of the Moabites? (Read Numbers 25) How do you think Satan would weaken the witness of a church today?
- Read the following passages: I Cor. 5:9-11 and Eph. 5:3. How can we apply them today? How can we help one another to stay pure in our sexuality and relationships? How should we lovingly help those among us who fall?
- Pray that as a church family the Lord may give us as much righteous jealousy for purity as for holding up His values in public.
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Deniz Arkan