The Third Letter: To the Church in Pergamum
Series: The Divine Perspective
Sermon Title: The Third Letter: To the Church in Pergamum
Proposition Statement: Jesus knows where you live and the challenges you face, yet calls you to stand for the truth and not compromise.
Introduction: The glorified Jesus, wielding his two-edged sword of truth, is intimately aware of the challenging situation faced by the Pergamum church. Both encouraging and correcting them, He provides a solution to their sinful struggles as well as a vision for their future if they stand for the truth. In doing so, Jesus assures all of us that we are not alone.
Point 1: Jesus Knows Our Situation, Strengths, and Successes
As capital of the Roman province of Asia, the city of Pergamum was known for its pagan religious fervor—“where Satan’s throne is” (v. 13). In particular, the government mandated worship of Caesar. Failure to do so was punishable by death. Jesus is well aware of this fact; He commends the church for holding fast to His name and not denying the faith (v. 13) despite persecution.
Point 2: Jesus Knows Our Weaknesses and Failures
Jesus points to certain errors in the Pergamum church that result in stumbling blocks for the congregation. In particular, the church is tolerating false doctrine as it relates to idol worship and sexual immorality. False teachers have crept in to pervert the grace of God (Jude 1:4). The present-day church faces the same temptations, resulting in loss of doctrinal purity and, eventually, the entire Gospel.
Point 3: Jesus Knows the Solution
Jesus calls His church to repent from their failure to adhere to the Word of God (v. 16). Refusing to do so will result in Jesus “war[ring] against them with the sword of [His] mouth” (v. 16). The Father disciplines those He loves (Heb. 12:6-11)
Point 4: Jesus Knows the Future
For those who conquer, Jesus promises satisfaction with hidden manna (Himself as the Bread of Life) and a white stone etched with a new name (admission into the presence of God by way of Jesus).
Application Questions: Are you remaining faithful to God’s Word? Are you holding fast or compromising? Do you know that Jesus knows?
Conclusion: Embrace the Word of God by becoming a people of the Word, doers of the Word, and givers of the Word.
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