Rev. 2:12-17 AN UNHOLY UNION
Intro: Ill. 3 intertretations. Pergamos was the capital of Mysia, located northwest
in Asia Minor. A blending of power, religion and intellectual life. Pergamos
contained a temple dedicated to emperor worship. In fact, Ceasar Agustus traveled
here every year during the Roman winter. he came here to be dried out, he was a
drunk! Pergamos was famous for two things: 1. Intelligence - Ill. 200,000 volume
library, stolen by Mark Anthony and given to Cleopatra. Ill. Pergamos comes from
the same word as parchment. Paper was invented here! 2. Religion - Emperors,
Zeus, Bacchus (Ill. god of wine, the goat-god; Ill. Satan; Ill. Alcohol and its
effects.); Temple of Aesculapius - God of medicine and healing. Doctors school
located in temple. Ill. Methods of healing used. Extreme method was snakes.
Jesus come to His church located in this mess and spoke to them from His heart. He
comes to them as the holder of a two-edged sword. He comes with the truth and
power of His Word. To encourage the faithful and to exterminate the foolish. The
Word will divide, destroy foes on both hands and pierce to the heart. Let's listen in
as Jesus speaks to them and to us. Represents the time period of 313 a.d. to 590 a.d.
I. v.13 THEIR TESTIMONY
A. Difficult - A dangerous place to be a Christian.
1. Satan's seat there1 (Devil not in Hell - 1 Pet. 5:8) (Ill. Prince of this world
John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11)
2. Satan's stronghold - God intends for us to be on the offensive!
3. They lived in a place beyond their circumstances - (Ill. Dwell) (Ill.
Thermostats) (Ill. The difficulties on this world!)
4. Jesus knows and He places us where He wants us!
1. Held His Name - They exalted Jesus. God's plan for us - John 12:32
2. Did Not Deny His Faith - They held high the fundamentals. (Ill. There
is a great need for Christians to stand today. Ill. Liberalism)
3. Ill. Antipas - refused to follow heathen worship. Was slowly roasted alive
in a brass bull.
II. v.14-15 THEIR TOLERANCE
A. v.14 CORRUPTION IN THE MEMBERSHIP
1. Ill. the Story of Balaam - (Numbers 22-24)
2. These false teachers taught that they were God's people and could do as
they pleased. Ill. They became worldly. they allowed the world into their
church! (There is a price to pay for this type of thing - Gal. 6:7)
3. Ill. Pergamos = "Marriage". It was during this period that the church
entered into an unholy union with the world. (Ill. Constantine - 313 a.d.
claimed to have a vision during a battle. He claimed to see a cross in the
sky with these words under it, "In hoc signo vinces", which means "In this
sign conquer." (Ill. What he did as a result!) Entire regiments were
baptized; unwilling people were made to be baptized; Constantine became
leader of the church; pagan temples became churches; heathen festivals
became Christianized; Idols were renamed after so called Christian
saints; the Emperor became known as Pontifex Maximus. Here was the
birth of Roman Catholicism, infant baptism, saint worship, maryolatry.
Ill. There were some successes = Ill. The Arian heresy, refuted by
Athanasius, ill. the circumstances.
4. The church married the world and many real Chirstians were driven underground.
(Ill. the Catacombs) Those who formerly had suffered, were tricked into making a
compromise. Sold out their true faith in Jesus for a little peace and comfort. (Ill. We
need to beware of any compromise with the state or any person or organization!)
5. Balaam Died by the sword, so will all the enemies of the Lord.
B. v.15 CONFUSION IN THE LEADERSHIP - Taught the clergy were above the
members. Ill. All have access to God - Rev. 1:6 (Ill. No power in a servants
position! Ill. Reason for much church trouble and confusion.
C. v.16 COMMAND FROM THE HEADSHIP - REPENT! Ill. Jesus owns the
church, disowns compromise! You cannot live in sin and hide in the church!
God will fight those who hinder the churches testimony! (Ill. Balaam!)
III. v.17 THEIR TRIUMPH
A. The Hidden Manna - (Ill. Ex. 16 - miracle Bread) (Ill. Elijah)
God will feed His children on the good spiritual things this world cannot eat.
B. The White Stones
1. Acquittal - (Ill. Judge) Ill. Sin is black, but we are not blackballed by Jesus -
2. Victory - (Ill. Army)
3. Citizenship - (Ill. Citizens of Heaven) Phil 3:20
4. Friendship - (Ill. Friends would each carry a white stone with the name of their friend written on it.
Jesus wants to be our friend - Pro. 18:24
5. Placemats - Ill. Dinner, names would be written on white stones. Marriage supper of the Lamb
C. New Name - Not a name for you, a name for Him that is special to you. Ill. It
will represent of relationship with Him. (What will your stone say?)
Conc: Church, we owe it to Jesus to be His friend! To faithfully serve Him and
avoid compromise with this wicked world. We need to avoid the traps of Pergamos
and walk faithfully with our great God! Just simply be His friend!
Sermon By Alan Carr