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Revelation blog post 10: Truth in the darkness

July 14, 2014

Revelation 2:12 – 17

So. 2 down. 5 to go.

One happening church threatened with extinction.

One struggling church promised 10 days of persecution.

Who would be next? What could be next?

Pergamum. It’s your turn.

Again the message comes from Jesus. But again he states his credentials, based on a part of John’s vision of Jesus.

This time he is the one with the sharp double edged sword. This sounds dangerous!

This is Jesus the warrior. How often do we see him in this way in our worship. Rather than Jesus the lover. He is armed and can cut through any pretence.

“I know where you live. You live where Satan has his throne.” Is that where you live? where evil seems to have control? Where Jesus is not honoured?

I am sure we all live there, sometimes more obviously than others.

But the fact is we live there. Pergamum was not told to move out of the neighbourhood.

They lived in a dark place but that only served to show how brightly they shone.

When Jesus prayed, as recorded in John’s biography of him, he did not pray that God would take them out of the world, but he prayed that God would protect them from the evil one.

You and I are not called to escapism. We are called to live in the here and now. Even when that is distinctly uncomfortable.

They remained true. They lived it out.

They did not renounce their faith. In word or deed.

Even when one of their own was put to death, they carried on without compromising the truth.

But.

We’re learning to expect the but as we read these messages.

Again it’s a good start. “Nevertheless, there are some issues with you.”

Whilst generally they lived in truth there were still some among them who could get it terribly wrong. Whereas Smyrna rejected idolatry and immorality, somehow it found its way in at Pergamum.

Strange isn’t it how even today, it seems to me that people can make a disconnect between what they believe, and how that should show itself in the way they behave.

Modern day idols cloud the view of Jesus.

It doesn’t matter how you live sexually.

Time to repent. The threat this time is that if they do not, the warrior Jesus will himself fight against them.

We may worry about what the evil one will do to our churches. The greater worry reflected in Ephesus and Pergamum, is that failure to live right could place us in the hands of Jesus the Judge. He will decide our fate.

Again you have got ears, you need to listen.

Again there is a promise.

If you are victorious I will give you some of the hidden manna. Manna was the food that God provided to his people as Moses led them through the wilderness. Some of it had been preserved in the Ark of the Covenant.

Theirs is an invitation to a feast. A personalised invitation to eat eternally – of Jesus the bread of life.

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From → Christianity

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