- When did you experience an idea or concept that changed the way you lived?
- As we continue our series from Revelation 1-3, “Revealed,” this weekend we will explore the church in Pergamum from Revelation 2:12-17. Before you begin your study, ask God to speak to you through the Scripture. Then, read that passage aloud.
- One Bible scholar writes: “If Ephesus was the New York of Asia, Pergamum was its Washington, for there the Roman imperial power had its seat of government.” Pergamum was the center-point of emperor worship, but also held the altar to Zeus the Savior on the top of its acropolis. For the early Christians, the declaration “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9) was a strong oath of allegiance to God in the face of the pagan altars and the emperor cult which declared “Caesar is lord.”
- What do you notice about Jesus’ encouraging words to the church in Pergamum in verses 12 and 13?
- In order to better understand the reference to Balaam in verse 14, read Numbers 22-24 and 31:16. The Nicolaitans, referenced in Revelation 2:6, were likely an over-reaction to legalistic religion, which led some into moral laxity.
- Given this background, how would you describe the correction that Jesus is speaking to the church in Pergamum in verses 14-16?
- Jesus calls the church to repent, which has the meaning of turning around or having one’s mind transformed with new thinking. Looking at the church in Pergamum, how do you need to “repent” in your thoughts or actions this week?
- The words about “hidden manna” and “a white stone with a new name written on it” are likely metaphors for the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, which sustains us and gives us a new identity. What does salvation mean to you?
- How is God speaking to you through your study of this letter to the church in Pergamum? How might you take it into action this week? If you are in a small group, discuss this together. If you are on your own, take some time to write down your thoughts on this.
[Next week: We continue our series “Revealed” by looking at the church in Thyatira from Revelation 2:18-29.]