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The Worldly Church (Revelation 2:12-17)

Sermon on 9 August 2020 by Ps Justin


When we read the book of Revelation, remember the 3 instructions for us:

1) The book is about the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1). Only God can unveil His truth to us and not man.

2) This book is given to His servants (Revelation 1:1). It is meant only for servants of God, to the willing-hearted.

3) This book is given for us to obey (Revelation 1:3). Obedience is an act of humility. God will teach the humble (Psalm 25:9).


“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, these things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: - Revelation 2:12

1. Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:17

That the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12

We have the most powerful weapon for our daily battle with the devil. We are in the battleground. We need to fight the fight of our faith, with the word of God, the sword of the Spirit. We are the soldiers of the cross. We are to fight a good fight of faith, by not letting sin rule over us. We are to be vigilant and endure affliction.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7

We need to reckon ourselves to be dead to sin.

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:11

We are free from the slave of sin, and are instead slaves of righteousness and holiness.

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. – Romans 6:22

We need to speak the word of God. We need to pray the word of God, for we access the power of God’s word by speaking God’s words. When Jesus was tempted by the devil in Matthew chapter 4, He spoke the word of God and the devil left Him. The word of God is living and powerful.

…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. – Deuteronomy 8:3

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105

2. Do not love the world or anything in the world

“I know yours works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. - Revelation 2:13

This city of Pergamos was so evil that our Lord said that it was where Satan dwelled.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14,16

But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, whom I hate. – Revelation 2:14

Satan attacks the church from within, using worldliness. The church of Pergamos was corrupted with worldliness. It was compromised.

The apostle Paul warns us –

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! – 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; - 2 Peter 2:14-15

Numbers chapters 22-25 tells us about Balam. The doctrine of Balam will lead Christians to worldly living. To worship anything earthly is idolatry. To lust after a woman is adultery. The devil was successful in corrupting the church of Pergamos, in idolatry and immorality.

For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. – 1 John 2:16

3. By His word, we are judged

Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. – Revelation 2:16-17

The Lord warned the church of Pergamos to repent. If not, He would judge them from the sword (or word) of His mouth (Revelation 2:16). It is by the word of Christ by which we are judged.

He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. – John 12:48

Our lives on earth will be compared with the words of God. The only comparison we should be making is between our daily walk and what is written in the bible. Don’t compare with your neighbour.

In the time of Moses, the Lord rained down bread from heaven for people to eat, and instructed them not to store up excess manna.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.” – Exodus 16:4

But some people disobeyed and stored up some manna, so it began to go bad within 24 hours. Conversely, where the Lord commanded that manna be kept for generations to come, this manna was kept fresh for 40 years.

And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and lay it up before the Lord, to be kept for your generations.” – Exodus 16:33

In His presence, there is freshness. We seek His holy presence, because we will be kept fresh.


Let us give ourselves to God. Let us live for Him wholeheartedly.

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:17

Surrender. It is only when we surrender all to Him, that we can have an intimate relationship with Him.

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