Revelation 2:18-29 / The Result of Compromise

Posted on February 14, 2015

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This is the ninth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of February 15, 2015. This message deals with the inevitable result of compromising God’s Word. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

SERMON AUDIO:
Rev 2:18-29

SERMON NOTES:

V.18:
Located halfway between Pergamos and Sardis, this city had been under Roman rule for nearly three centuries (c. 190 b.c.). Since the city was situated in a long valley that spanned 40 miles to Pergamos, it had no natural defenses and had a long history of being destroyed and rebuilt. Originally populated by soldiers of Alexander the Great, it was basically just a military outpost to guard Pergamos.

Lydia came from this city on business and was converted by Paul.

Acts 16:14–15

This church is very similar to Pergamos. They have allowed compromise, and it has carried them a step farther. They were more given in to immorality than Pergamos. Pergamos had [dangerously] allowed those teachings, Thyatira had put them into practice. Evil is the eventual road to which compromise leads, and Thyatira was steeped in it.

We see Jesus with eyes like a flame of fire. Burning, piercing to the depths of our soul. Purifying, burning away the sin.

His feet like fine brass, like the brazen altar on which sin was judged by fire.

Jesus is identified here as a righteous judge, and judge, He will.

V.19:
Thyatira’s strengths and weaknesses are the opposite of those at Ephesus. This church is strong in love and in works; but it lacks discernment and tolerates heresy.

Imagine a neighborhood drug dealer, who will sometimes bring food to the hungry. On one hand, he may be doing a good thing, but it’s at the expense of the lives of others. In the end, he is still bad, and his works mean nothing.

Likewise, this church had a major flaw, which negated the value of their works.

Despite what many would teach, what you believe is of paramount importance. Right beliefs must come first.

Romans 10:9

Faith is a result of your beliefs, and without faith it is impossible to please God. It won’t matter how many good works you do.

Hebrews 11:6

V.20:
Jezebel had been the pagan queen of Israel in the days of Elijah. She introduced Baal worship into Israel.

1 Kings 16:30-33

2 Kings 9:22

Apparently, there was in this church, a woman who had a reputation as a teacher and a prophetess. This was despite the Lord’s warning against women holding such a position in the church.

1 Timothy 3:1-7

This disregard of Scripture was, without a doubt, a huge contributor to their apostasy.

This woman was the modern day counterpart of the ancient Jezebel. Her teachings gave license to sin, and lead the church into gross immorality, while still manifesting love, faith and good works. This church, as well as many since, have professed spirituality and love, while dismissing Biblical doctrine, and living in sin.

She taught permissiveness, and permissiveness always leads to participation.

We have a modern day Jezebel in the church today, in the form of evolution, and the fruit it has born is no less offensive. Abortion, drug abuse, alcoholism, violence, sexual promiscuity, pornography, euthanasia, bestiality, homosexuality, witchcraft, etc.

When God’s Word is no longer considered truth, and people are no more than animals, then anything goes. “If it feels good, do it.” This is the society we end up with, and the church is in the middle of it.

When the Bible is compromised, God’s Word no longer sets the standard. If people have doubts about the authenticity and authority of Scripture, then they are bound to dismiss it, just as soon as it conflicts with their own desires for pleasure.

When people doubt the authority of Scripture, They’ll cling only to the nice parts, and dismiss the convicting parts. They’ll concoct a god who loves permissively, and wouldn’t dare judge sin. They’ll concoct a god of no consequences, and they’ll live accordingly.

They’ll heap upon themselves teachers who will tickle their ears, preachers who’ll cherry pick the Bible, and teach only the non-offensive parts. Sin will run rampant, and they’ll feel good about it. They’ll be on a feel good, joy ride to hell.

The church must stand up and refute such unscriptural teachings, before more errors are made, and more souls are needlessly lost. If we don’t, the result will be devastating, and the judgment severe.

V.21:
It’s a beautiful thing that God is patient.

2Peter 3:9

He is constantly giving us time to repent, and we need to take advantage of that time. However, once this life is over, there’ll be no more chances at repentance.

Hebrews 9:27

Keep in mind, that we don’t know when God will say enough is enough, and your life will be over, with nothing but judgment to look forward to.

V.22:
We need also remember that our sin has earthly consequences, which are often far reaching. It is promised here, that those who blatantly disregard God’s Word will reap what they sow.

V.23:
This is a very stern warning to those who follow false teachers and heretical doctrines. It speaks for itself. Sin can only bring death.

Romans 6:23

VV.24-25:
As dire as this is, all is not lost. As in any church, there are usually at least some who are truly faithful. There were obviously some here, and they will not suffer the burden of tribulation which God has promised the heretics.

Romans 5:9

He’ll add no other burden. He simply asks that they hold fast.

VV.26-27:
The first thing that overcomers are promised is authority over nations. We talked about this in Revelation 1:6. The saints will be kings, ruling with Christ, but under His headship and authority. Christ is the King of Kings, meaning He rules over the kings.

We should expect that the saints will have work to do, particularly during the millennium, considering that some unsaved will enter into the millennium as well. It makes sense that Christ would give His faithful the task of ruling over the earthly affairs of men, on His behalf. We also see reference to this in other places.

Revelation 3:21

Revelation 20:6

1 Corinthians 6:2

V.28:
The second promise is the morning star. This is Christ Himself.

Revelation 22:16

The morning star has already dawned in our hearts.

2 Peter 1:19

However, someday we will have him in his fullness.

V.29:
Once again, Jesus is speaking and we need to listen. He has given us His word, and we need to accept it, as given, in its entirety.

We need to do more listening to His word, and stop changing it. Otherwise we invite disaster upon us, and those who follow.

Resolve to be one of the faithful, one who receives His promise rather than His judgment.

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