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Part 3 / Rev 2:12-17 / Pergamum

Grace is the license to live free, not to crash willfully.

In this installment into the series titled “Seven: Revelations of Jesus for His Church," Pastor Cameron teaches us on the church of Pergamum.  This sermon explains Jesus is the one gives us the winning weapons in the battle for our mind. He uses the Word of God to cut through the lies, deception, and corruption in the church of Pergamum. Discover how to filter your thoughts, fight what’s in your mind, and focus on Jesus.

Scripture

Revelation‬ ‭2:12-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

 

REFERENCES: Revelation 19:11-16, Philippians 4:8, Isaiah 26:3, Numbers 22-24

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Main Idea

 

Our mind is a remarkably complex place. On the one hand, it is the seat of logical thought and creative imagination that, under the right influence, has the ability to positively impact the world. However, when the mind is corrupted with negativity and lies, the actions that follow will have dire consequences. Such was the case for the church of Pergamum. While they were able to remain faithful in the face of outside persecution, internal deception polluted their congregation resulting in tainted doctrine, sexual immorality, and idolatrous practices contrary to God’s will. Just like them, we are in a constant battle of the mind, which extends into our actions. The good news is, we have the indestructible double-edged sword of God’s truth in hand, enabling us to win the war.

 

If you do not know God’s truth, you can be all too easily bound by the enemy’s lies.

1. God Commends 

Jesus opens with the imagery of being the One with the double edge sword, reminding them to not fear the empire, but instead know the the true King of Kings is coming. He commends the church of Pergamum for standing strong in the midst of some truly terrible events, including the death of His faithful witness Antipas. While we do not face the same kind of pressure or oppression faced in the day of Pergamum, we are still called to be planted where God has called us with purpose and passion. The church of Pergamum was a lighthouse in a dark community, and we too are to stand firm as at outpost and beacon of hope in the pain and darkness of this world.

Where has God called you to be planted as a lighthouse in your community?

Is there anyone in your life you could commend and encourage for their faithfulness? Pray for and cheer on those holding fast to the name of Christ.

2. God Corrects 

While God commends His people for keeping the faith during times of challenge, He will also correct us. It is important to remember that even though we live in this world, we are not to be corrupted by it. God will use encouragement and correction to wake us up for the calling and the plan that He has for our life.

What helps us not fear God's correction, but embrace His truth?

In what ways do the enemies lies pull us from Gods truth?

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What can we do as Christians if we dwell in a place that is surrounded by darkness? Share some tips and strategies with another beleiver. 

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Grace is a license to live free,

not a license to crash willfully.

Grace is a license to live free,

not a license to crash willfully.

3. God Commands 

When we choose to follow Jesus, we’re instructed to repent, and change our minds.  Instead of being conformed by the world, our thoughts are transformed and in a constant place of renewal.


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

Filter: When and where do you need to be more intentional about filtering out thoughts that are counter to Gods truth?

Fight: How can you use God's word, and the community of believers He has placed you in, to fight thoughts that are not in line with His Kingdom?

Focus: What are some specific truths of Jesus that you need to keep close to you, and scriptures to remember and focus on?

Why is the renewing of the mind with God's word so important to a Christianss faith?

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Summary

Let us hold onto the simple truth that God commits. He commits to be our ever present help. To walk with us through the valley of shadows, or on the highest of mountain tops. The enemy may not be able to curse you, but if you allow him, he will try to corrupt you. But remember friends, who the Son sets free, is free indeed! The battle of our mind, soul, and heart has already been won.

 

God commits to freely give us peace beyond our understanding, hidden manna. We must also do our part of committing to Him by not following the deception and lies of the enemy, but standing firm to the double edge sword of Jesus’s words.

Call To Action

What have you willfully been crashing into? Think, review, and repent. Once you repent, start to filter your thoughts, fight to keep the correct thoughts, and focus on God's words as part of your daily thought pattern.

Journal out your prayer, including repentance for areas you must turn your mind from, and the truth you are fixing your mind to instead. Remember the battle of your mind is not fought on your own, but with His Holy Spirit and Godly council speaking His truth into your life. You are not alone.

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"Here a pitched battle was being fought in which

soldiers were not men, but ideas."

- John Stott, on Pergamum

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"Here a pitched battle was being fought in which

soldiers were not men, but ideas."

- John Stott, on Pergamum

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