Putting God's Word into Practice…

Revelation 2:12-17 ~ Holding Fast

on April 7, 2014

The people of the church in Pergamum were living in an area where Satan had a stronghold.  There was much idolatry and paganism.  It was spiritually oppressive and even dangerous.  In fact many of them saw one of their own, Antipas, be martyred for holding fast to the truth about Jesus.  When Jesus referenced Antipas in this passage He shared His own title of “Faithful Witness” with him.

Jesus came with the good news first:  many of them were also holding fast to Jesus and not denying their faith in Him in spite of their oppressive environment.  But just as with most good news, bad news follows.  The church of Jesus Christ in Pergamum was starting to let false teaching–teaching that justified self-indulgence and sexual immorality–mix in with the truth.  It is impossible to mix what God loves with what He hates!  Like oil and water!

In His grace, Jesus gave them a warning.  His gracious, kind warning was meant to lead them to repentance (willingly turning from sin).  If they chose to continue down the path of mixing Christ with their human passions, they would experience the painful pruning process of Him cutting away falsehood and sin.

Our hands can only hold so much!  We can’t hold fast to Jesus with one hand and hold sin in the other. Holding fast to Jesus requires emptying our hands of everything so that we can hold fast to him with both hands!  A mountain climber would never use one hand to climb and the other to hold a garbage bag on their way up to the summit! Yet, that is precisely what some of us try to do. Jesus alone is enough to fill our hands!

Jesus is all we need for security, sufficiency, and sustenance.  He promised in these verses that those who hold fast to Him will receive hidden manna (be provided for and sustained by His own hand) and a white stone with a new name written on it that is just between us and Him.  My study Bible said that white stones were primarily used for two purposes in Jesus’ day: 1) given to victors as a ticket to a winner’s banquet, 2) used by jurors at trials to vote for acquittal.  When we are faithful to the end, Jesus holds up the white stone with our name on it acquitting us of all our sins and then He hands it over to us and sends us into the feast of the victors!


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