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Loyal Community (Part 1 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
May 17, 2022 4:00 am

Loyal Community (Part 1 of 3)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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May 17, 2022 4:00 am

Jesus described Pergamum as the city “where Satan has his throne.” How could any church possibly remain loyal to Christ in such a dark culture? Find out how they stayed on track—and why we need to follow their example—on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Jesus described as the city where Satan has his throne. So how can a local church, possibly remain loyal to Christ in such a dark culture today on Truth for Life with Alister bag will find out how the church at Pergamum stayed on track and why we need to follow their example. Revelation chapter 2 and verse 12 to the angel of the church in Pergamum write. These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.

I know where you live where Satan has his throne, yet you remain true to my name.

You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days event effects, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city where Satan lives in the last I have a few things against you, you have a people there who hold to the teaching of Baylon who taught they like to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicollet attempts repent therefore otherwise I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna.

I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it to the angel of the church in Thyatira write. These are the words of the son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

Nevertheless I have this against you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess by her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and eating of food sacrificed to idols. I've given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling so I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds and I will repay each of you according to your deed nice into the rest of you in Thyatira. Do you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets. I will not impose any other burden on you only hold on to what you have until I come to him who overcomes and does my will to the end.

I will give authority over the nation's he will rule them with an iron scepter. He will then to pieces like pottery. Just as I have received authority from my father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Amen. May God bless to us the reading of this work, but what would you say if he asks you that you have to tell him straight out that you love the Lord Jesus, ever since the summons from the proconsul of the province had arrived at the home of Enterprise.

He, his wife and his family had spoken about little else.

He knew the day would come when they would arrive at his house and escort him to the proconsul or establishment, and the understood exactly what the contents would be you would be confronted by a plinth and on that a bus of the Emperor with sacred fire burning before he would be invited.

Quite simply to offer a sacrifice to the genius of wrong to the wonder of the important to do so simply by taking some incense and casting it into the flame and in doing so declaring Caesar is Lord. Just a simple and straightforward as that letdown was somebody was said to them, and then we need to retain you no longer enter plus you will be perfectly free and that one just to slip off and go home to your family, but there was to be no family reunion, at least not in this life veranda post refused to compromise. After all, it is baptism he had student to declare that Jesus is Lord, you become convinced of the fact that one day everyone would declare the Lordship of Christ. One day in the name of this Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess what she then simply to overturn all of that in a moment of dreadful compromise.

He was not insurrectionist. He paid his taxes.

He knew that you were to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's to render to God the things that are God's. But he couldn't render to Caesar a title that belong to Jesus Christ alone so the silent voice and the empty chair would've left his wife with the responsibility of answering the children's questions what is a marcher money is daddy with Jesus now zero did you get all that made it up simply trying to imagine to help you to bring it into the reality of real people in real time, that when you read a phrase as you find it here that you did not compromise even in the days event to post my faithful witness, the only thing we know about them is that that is his whole record in sacred Scripture. He appears in one line and to press and what a fantastic epitaph.

My faithful witness he endured to the end and he was saved.

He sits within the framework of all of the record of the Bible as a reminder to all who will follow in his wake. As many have done and even do today that they must be faithful, even unto death. Know the reason that he is mentioned is because he epitomizes if you like the loyalty of some in the church at Pergamum and the loyalty is set within the context of a city that was a strong center of paganism Pergamum if you look it up in books, you will discover was billed on a cone-shaped hill that rose to a height of 7000 feet, and a variety of temples and shrines were built in the ascendance pinnacle of this be all that was represented on this conical hill is the kind of thing that you can find in the average city center bookstore today. If you go into the realm of philosophy or religion you going to social studies at all, or you won't find it identified as Zeus and Dionysius. You won't find it is RTP is necessarily but you will find many of your friends and neighbors are ferreting around in those sections looking for answers in all the wrong places, hoping that perhaps there is a book that will teach them the real existence enable them to extend their earthly pilgrimage by sometime if there is a God of healing.

I'd like to meet him. If there is a way to progress than I'd like to find that the same time it along with this Pergamum and become the official center of the then known world.

This aphasia of the imperial cult 29 BC, Augustus get permission to Pergamum to be the first city to establish trying to living ruler, and there he made it possible for the proletariat and the that common cry of curse, to whom Coriolanus reaffirms the proletariat at may come and worship at the shrine of the Divine Augustus, and alongside him the goddess Roma is revered and meanwhile in and out they come and go all the members of the redeemed company. Those whom Christ is laid hold upon with an outstretched and this is where they live. When they get up in the morning they look up on their skyline is dominated by Zeus when they move amongst the bazaars that are encountering their friends were telling them that having just come from one of these shrines. They believe that their future is now settled and that their dreams will be fulfilled and they have the challenge of somehow or another living for Christ and speaking for Christ in a way that would be compassionate and tender and yet clear and convicting the kind of thing that happens to was on the train flying in the plane walking in the park, whatever it may be our friends and our neighbors are dominated by the slayings of a godless culture and we been planted in the midst of it all. The question is will we match the loyalty of some who were present in Pergamum. It was a dark place so dark that you will notice in the text that it is referred to as the place where Satan lives. Surely, simply emblematic of the depth of the depravity and the darkness of the place. And Jesus says I want you to know that I know where you live below the powers of evil are rampant among you. He say although you live is aware underneath the domination of the throne of Satan. I want you to know I want you to remember that actually there is another throne under which my Saints have dwelt secure and sufficient is my arm alone in your defense is sure the knowledge of their circumstances is meant to encourage them with the awareness that, although it all seems so pressurized and so potentially devastating in the words of street violence in America.

Jesus is saying to them.

I've got your back, you can go forward.

As I bid you marching on.

Worked the that the declension of Satan's kingdom is directly related to the events of Christ's kingdom.

All of the armor provided for the front why we need none for the back because he's got back.

He has our back. He knows where we live is protecting us as we go forward.

Once the setting in which their loyalty is expressed out of the substance of their loyalty.

It's there just in a couple of phrases. He says I know where you live where Satan has his throne.

Here you go. Yet you remain true to my name. True to my name his mighty name. Salvation is we in Western culture, use names simply as designations to make sure that when we say Mary Alice doesn't come forward or when we say bill that we don't get your in the African context and in the Asian context still today. Names have significance, they will often be descriptive of what parents would desire for their children to be that they may become the embodiment of their name and so when we think in terms of being true to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What what he is saying is this that you are true to all that I all that I have reviewed of myself, you will remain true to the fact that I am the incarnate Lord of glory that I am the resurrected King that I am none other than God himself, and he and remain true to this no small thing turn for a moment since you have your Bibles there to acts chapter 4.

Let's just notice how this began to work itself out. Immediately following Pentecost perhaps will destroy your attention to these verses and then allow you to follow them up at your leisure.

You remember the wonderful story recorded by Luke and acts chapter 3 of the healing of the manic gate at the gate beautiful. As a result of that Peter and John are in prison and they are also interrogated. The inquiry is very straightforward.

The authorities want to know just on what basis the have been doing these things in verse seven of chapter 4. They had Peter and John brought before them and they began to question them by what power or what name did you do this and then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to the rulers and elders of the people. It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you completely healed.

He is the fulfillment of the prophecy, the stone you builders rejected, which is become the capstone and then noticed salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be say. In other words, Peter establishes the absolute exclusivity of the Lord Jesus Christ, when it comes to the matter of salvation in here Pergamum the risen Christ looks upon them, and he says I know that you are those who are remaining true to my name see the proconsul of Pergamum would've been quite happy. No doubt, to include Jesus in the pantheon of God's just another religious figure in the midst of many along with Zeus and a variety of others in the same way today pluralism which essentially marks our country here in Great Britain. Of course it is nothing intrinsically wrong with recognizing that there is religious diversity which is present in our country. The importance of tolerance which is the social tolerance that recognizes that people are different and have the right to worship as they choose the legal tolerance which affords them the same freedoms which we enjoy within the structure of democracy, but where the problem comes is when social and legal tolerance give way to the kind of intellectual tolerance which grants credence the same kind of credence to every religious claim, allowing it to sit side-by-side with the claims of Christ that pluralism is happy if we choose to have Jesus added to the group they will be happy if we made.

Think of it in these terms to put him within the pantheon of contemporary British religious opportunities on the smorgasbord from which men and women in the UK may choose their fancy. They may even allow us the opportunity to put some little statement by our God on the plinth along with the others.

I would be perfectly happy if we were to put alongside our statute. The statement by Jesus. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and align, however, that is all that they would be happy to have by way of the state. What is absolutely intolerable to the pluralist is that the statement made by Christ would be finished. Namely, no one comes to the father but by me. Outdoor lights kid ourselves that we are making a great D by being able to proclaim the first part of the verse and finding that our Muslim friends and our Jewish neighbors, and our Hindu compatriots are perfectly happy.

Of course they are. Remember, Bradford University having a great conversation with a young engineering student who was I can do and he was explaining to me that the religion was like the Banyan tree that was interwoven with all of these kind of things and he said I have a perfect place for your Jesus. I don't understand why you are so strong-minded in relation to his exclusive claim that was probably 20 years ago. Look at a high streets now pluralism will ultimately only made way for other pluralists and eventually those who are prepared to remain true to his name will at some point in some way feel the vice light grip of syncretism seek to squeeze the very life's I have lots of Jewish friends. I went to school with them in Glasgow the third of my class was probably Jewish. I'm living in the moment in a community that is probably 90% Jewish.

So I go around saying the Shema meeting elderly man and saying hey how are you Arnold hero, Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is one in his eyes go like this and you shall love the Lord your God, Arnold, with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength and these commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts and your to teach them to your children when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you get up and this is why you saying all that I say because I like it and I believe it's and I want to live that's in my heart goes out to Arnold, whose face I see as I speak to you now I is a Christian believe that Jesus is the Messiah, he is present. Jewish convictions believes that Jesus is not the Messiah.

We are not both right.

Our Hindu friends believe that God has been incarnated many times and in many ways.

We believe that the incarnation is unique in its manifestation of the Godhead.

We are not both right. Islam is symbolized by scales testifying to the endeavors of the faithful. Somehow, outweighing the bad with the good we are symbolized by a cross which says we cannot outweigh the bad with the good but we need one who would take all of our bad and transparent to our accountant. All of his boot. These things despite the attempts of men and women to suggest to us that they are all the same.

Listen religions differ at the most fundamental nature of things and to be true to the name of Christ is not to be bombastic in relationship to this but it is to become convinced of these things. The things that you have learned and the things you are permitted to so that you may be able to identify with the loyalty of those who were present in Pergamum who remained true to my name and who did not, as a cartilage right now. This your faith in me, you remain true to my name and so much so that you didn't turn your back on. They were convinced that he was the Lord and Savior. They had come to trust in it. Despite the darkness of the pagan environment and they were holding fast the loyalty epitomized by enterprise, who incidentally had about them, something of the spirit of Athanasius who would begin to Athanasius and said that measures the whole world is against you. He said then I am against the whole world any dead fish can go over the stream is alive fish to swim against the current proverbial living loving community, it will manifest itself in loyalty. Loyalty to Christ for us to remain loyal to Christ. It's essential that we hold fast to the truth of the gospel listing to Alister big hug Truth for Life loyalty to Jesus also includes telling others about who he is about why he came to know that striking up a gospel conversation is not always easy for many of us.

We don't feel as effective as we'd like. In this area.

If you can relate with this.

I will encourage and request a copy of the book mere evangelism 10 insights from CS Lewis to help you share your faith. This is a book that examines the successful approach of the famous author and evangelist CS Lewis. Lewis was particularly effective at laying out a case for the gospel in this book 10 insights from CS Lewis identifies 10 specific approaches he used, to compel others to consider and to accept the claims of Christianity. When you read the book you learn how you might be able to do the same. Using some of Lewis's strategies request the book mere evangelism. When you give a donation Truth for or give us a call at 888-588-7884. If you'd rather mail your donation along with your request for the book right to Truth for Life at PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, Ohio 4419 studying these letters from the risen Christ makes it increasingly clear just how important it is for us to understand and apply God's word to our lives every day. That's why our mission the Truth for Life is to teach the Bible with clarity and relevance of this daily program. We do that, trusting that God will use the teaching of his word to convert unbelievers to help establish believers understrength the local church. Our prayer is that every church will become a living, loving community remains loyal to Christ all the way to the Bob Lapine thanks for joining us today. The exclusive claims of Christ often offend people who suggest there are many roads that lead to heaven tomorrow will see how Jesus makes it clear that he is indeed the way the truth and the life.

The Bible teaching of Alister big is furnished by Truth for Life where the Learning is for Living

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