TITLE: The Letter to the Church at Pergamum
Scripture: Revelation 2:12-17
In a word: COMPROMISE. The letter to the church at Pergamum is a call to repentance from the compromises that the church and believers in the church should never have made.
The Description of the Judge: The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword – v 12
– It is with this (sword) that Christ strikes down (compromise) within the church at Pergamum.
The Condition of the Church: Praiseworthy Actions
I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is…
– “Satan’s throne” means (stronghold)! To be deserving of that title means it is a place that is more full of wickedness and idolatry than any other place.
Yet you hold fast my name and did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness…
– We know (nothing more) of Antipas. He is only mentioned in this verse.
– GREEK: (martus) or in English “martyr” – ESV translation: “witness”
The Condition of the Church: Strong Criticism
You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam…So also you have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
– Balaam, Balak, the Midianites and Israel: Numbers 25
– Nicolaitans: profess Christian faith, but claim Christians can (do whatever they please) with their bodies and that it is of no consequence.
– The Balaamites and Nicolaitans are linked together here in the passage as compromisers. They seem to be Christians by profession of faith but not by lifestyle. They’ve embraced sin.
Repentance and Reward
Hidden Manna: symbol of restored fellowship with God
– Christ will feed them the TRUE BREAD of heaven: (Himself) – See John 6:35
White Stone with a New Name: you are a new creation in Christ
– Legal Practice – Jurors would cast their vote to (acquit) someone by dropping a white stone into an urn
– New Name – A name was your identity. It was the verbal birthmark of your character. As a result of our repentance and perseverance, Jesus promises us a new name, a new identity.
Closing Thoughts on Compromise
1. Compromise (occurs slowly).
2. Compromise (lowers the standard).
3. Compromise (is seldom offensive).
4. Compromise (is often the first step toward disobedience).