Posted by Peter Thompson

Revelation 2:12-17

What does Jesus Think? #3

INTRODUCTION:  We have learned so far that Jesus wants a church that is going to love, a church that loves God, loves each other and loves the people outside.  He wants a church that is going to be strong in its teaching.  He wants a church that is active and working for Him on this earth.  He wants a fearless church that is a target of the world because of the great things they are doing for God.  We continue today, learning what Jesus thinks a church should be.  We all have our ideas, but what does Jesus want from His church.  As he passes judgment on the 3rd church in this list, the church at Pergamos he refers to himself as the one that has the two-edged sword in his mouth.  Roman persecution was big deal for these people and they needed to understand that they should be more afraid of the sword of Jesus than the sword of the Romans.  This is a church that had good, solid people in it, but it also contained some that were not so solid.  We learn from this church more of what Jesus thinks a church should be.

  2. Jesus begins like he did with those first 2 churches, He knows their “works”
  3. The word works has the idea of the things that they were busy doing
  4. These were the things that they were employed in
  5. Jesus knew what this church was doing
  6. The implication here is certainly that Jesus the judge knows all, but it also implies that there was work going on
  7. This was not a dead church that was doing nothing
  8. They had employed themselves about the business of God on earth
  9. They were busy working for God
  10. Jesus knew about that business
  11. He also say that he knows the place where they “dwell”
  12. Now remember, we are talking about a church here
  13. It is made up of individual people, but it is the whole collection of people
  14. This assembly, Jesus knew where they were dwelling
  15. The word dwell has the idea of permanence
  16. This was not a temporary living place like a tent
  17. This was putting down roots, living in a place
  18. This is the same word that is used to talk about the Holy Spirit dwelling in you
  19. He is there to stay and will never leave
  20. This church was had put down roots and was a presence in that place and they were not going anywhere
  21. Where is it that they did that-in the seat of Satan
  22. A place where Satan has all the power, and this church was a permanent presence there in the midst of all that wickedness
  23. What a testimony, to have this church who Jesus said was busy doing His work as a permanent fixture in Satan’s backyard
  24. Do you understand what is going on here
  25. Everything else in that place is evil and wicked and directed by Satan
  26. And there is one beacon for God right in the middle of all that
  27. A presence for God in that community
  28. Jesus would have our church to be a permanent never moving fixture of God’s work at Pleasant Hill
  29. Did you know this church has been that for over 160 years
  30. Preachers have been going door to door
  31. Revival flyers have been passed out
  32. Vacation Bible School has been held
  33. People have been housed and fed in hard times
  34. Most importantly the gospel has been preached in the Pleasant Hill Community since 1856 at least
  35. This church has been a fixture here since before the civil war
  36. When you tell people in the community that you are the pastor of Pleasant Hill, they know exactly where it is and most of them can tell you a story that their great grandmother told about that church
  37. This church should not just be an piece of architecture up on that hill
  38. This church should be active in the community
  39. People should know who goes to church here
  40. People should know what this church believes and stands for
  41. People should have had spiritual conversations with our membership
  42. People should have been invited to one event or another at Pleasant Hill
  43. Pleasant Hill should be a shining light for God in the midst of a terrible and sinful world that Satan runs
  44. You see, people all around us are watching the news and seeing the violence and sin all around them
  45. They should be able to get in their car and drive down the road past our church and say, now that place will never go the way of the world
  46. That place has stood for God and will stand for God until Jesus comes again!
  48. Jesus says to this church you have held fast to my name
  49. Hold fast, comes from a Greek word that means
  50. to hold. 3a to hold in the hand. 3b to hold fast, i.e. not discard or let go. 3b1 to keep carefully and faithfully. 3c to continue to hold, to retain.
  51. You see the idea is that this thing you are holding is not put in a safe for safe keeping, it is not laid on a table in your house
  52. It is something that you keep with you for safe keeping
  53. You cannot bear the thought of letting go of this thing
  54. You want to keep this thing in the pristine condition it was in when you took it into your hand
  55. The thing is the name of Jesus
  56. This church held onto it with all their might, so that it always meant the same thing to them
  57. They held the name of Jesus high, it was so important to them, because He was the one that died on the cross for them
  58. And they had also not denied His faith
  59. You see, Jesus had faith in God the father-he was faithful
  60. He died on the cross for the sins of mankind
  61. These people at this church had grabbed hold of that faith
  62. And believed that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and rose again
  63. They were hanging on to the truth about what Jesus did
  64. They would never accept that Jesus was anything other than what they had been taught
  65. He was their Savior and they would never say different
  66. There was a man named Antipas here that was an example of what this church was willing to do for the name of Jesus
  67. The word martyr here has the idea of dying for being a witness
  68. He was sharing Jesus with people
  69. Telling them about that wonderful name
  70. Telling them that they could be saved and go to heaven
  71. If they believed and repented
  72. And for doing that he was killed, and he held up the name of Jesus in the face of death
  73. Jesus would have this church to always hang on to the name of Jesus
  74. Jesus is what it is all about
  75. He is the one we are working for, because He died on the cross to save us
  76. Cherish His name and what He did for you
  77. Never let go of those truths or allow them to be polluted in any way
  78. Even if you have to die for it like Antipas did
  79. If the whole world decides there is a different way to heaven than Jesus Christ
  80. Let this church and its members be the only ones that proclaim the name and faith of Jesus Christ as the only way
  81. That’s what it means to be faithful
  1. But wait a minute the whole church was not standing for Jesus like that
  2. There were those among them who had compromised
  3. The story of Balaam in the Old Testament is what Jesus points to here
  4. Balaam was a prophet of God
  5. But the king Balak the king wanted Balaam to curse God’s people so that he could defeat them in battle
  6. He offered to pay Balaam a huge sum to do that
  7. Balaam was going to do it, but God turned his curse into a blessing on multiple occasions
  8. But Balaam still wanted to be paid, so he taught Balak how to corrupt the people
  9. Allow them their God, allow them their worship, but add to it the worship of idols, and worshiping practices that involve sex and they will compromise and they will no longer be strong
  10. So they did that and the nation compromised
  11. It was not long before there was no idea of following God in Israel
  12. The idols and the sin had taken over
  13. Jesus said that this church had people in it who were doing the same thing
  14. They were trying to have God and Satan too
  15. They were in the seat of Satan and they wanted some of that to go along with their Christianity
  16. They were mingling the two-and soon there would be no God left in that church for all the sin and idol worship
  17. Jesus also said that some held the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which He hated
  18. These were people that were taking over the church
  19. Taking it out of the hands of God and putting it in their own hands
  20. And there were people in the church that had allowed that to take root
  21. There were some in that church that were compromising
  22. No longer holding on to Jesus and His faith
  23. Jesus tells them to repent or He is going to cut them out of His church in v. `16
  24. Jesus wants our church to be uncompromising
  25. It is becoming the going thing to compromise for the sake of unity
  26. The churches are giving up some of their beliefs so that they can stand together
  27. They say things like God does not want division, lets drop our differences and work together for Him
  28. That sounds great, accept that if you want to do that then you can’t have any convictions
  29. You can’t stand for the name of Jesus and the truth about His salvation
  30. You can’t stand for the things the Word of God teaches because they might offend somebody
  31. Jesus would have us to stand firm on all the things that we have been taught from His word and never give an inch
  32. You say, that is very close minded, yes it is, and it is the right thing to do
  33. Don’t give an inch when it comes to the truths of this Bible
  34. There are so many trying to do the things of the world and have God and church too
  35. You are called to be a separate people
  36. A peculiar strange people
  37. People that throw away the things of the world so that you can serve God with your whole heart
  38. Don’t compromise, don’t give in to your desires
  39. Serve God with all of your heart and life and never give budge on the truth of His word.

CONCLUSION:  Our church should be an immovable force to be reckoned with in our area.  You should be faithful in the midst of a world that is begging and pushing for compromise.  You should hold on to the name of Jesus with all that you have.   You should never deny his death, burial and resurrection.  You should never give in to the belief system and sins of the world.  As we move forward, you are the ones that will overcome, if you have accepted Jesus and you will have your new name written in stone.  If you have spiritual ears to hear, you will hear what Jesus has said today and make your church what Jesus would have it to be, an always present, faithful, uncompromising church of Jesus Christ.