A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
In our series of homilies from the book of Ephesians, we focused on reviving Christian families. Now, I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages from the book of Revelation, specifically targeted at reviving the church. If our country is to be awakened, the family and the church must be revived first.
TEXT: Revelation 2:12-17:
12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
John Walvoord said, “There is no alternative to continued impurity and compromise in the church but divine judgment.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “I fear cheap emotionalism. I also fear not to have emotion. The man who has no emotion is an animal or a Hitler. I fear the Christian who has no emotion — his soul needs a tombstone.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “While America experienced revival, the Holy Spirit was also poured out in Great Britain during this decade. Local revivals of great intensity were reported by various Methodist groups in England, especially. American evangelist James Caughey saw “many thousands” come to faith in Christ during a series of campaigns throughout the nation. Among his converts was a young man named William Booth, destined to found the Salvation Army in a later revival. The revival might have had an even greater impact on the Church of England had it not been for the Tractarian movement, which opposed the evangelism of the revivals in favor of a more sacramental approach to the faith.”
Jesus Christ warns the church at Pergamum that if it does not get rid of those who teach the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitanes, He will come and fight against them “with the sword of his mouth.” What does Jesus mean by the sword of His mouth? We know from other passages of Scripture that the sword is the Word of God. Revelation 19 tells us that when Jesus returns, He will ‘smite the nations with the sword that proceedeth from His mouth.’ During His tempting, Jesus defeated Satan with the Word of God. In Ephesians, Christians are instructed to use the “sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” It was the word of God that brought this world into existence. And it will be the word of the God that brings judgment in the last days.
When Jesus comes, He will fight against the false teachers and those who tolerated them with His Word. This tells us that we already have the tools we need to get rid of false teachers in our churches today. All we need to do is pick up the Word of God, read it, and anything that does not line up with it needs to be removed from among God’s people.
This year, Protestant churches are marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The Reformation got started when Martin Luther, who had become troubled about his own salvation and what the Catholic Church claimed one had to do to be saved, went to his priest with his concerns, and was told to go and study the Bible until he found the answers he desired. Luther went and searched the Scriptures till he found the verse that says, “The just shall live by faith.” In light of that and other Revelations, he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenburg, Germany, calling out the Papacy for its false teaching. The light of the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, broke the heresy of the Catholic Church and opened the door to true salvation to the masses. For many years, people were bound in false doctrine simply because they couldn’t read the Bible. As soon as the Bible began to be translated into languages other than Latin, people kicked off the shackles of false teaching and began to walk in the light of the Word.
That is what will have to happen again if we are to dispel false teaching in our own churches. All of us, from the preacher to the pew, need to get back to the Word. The Word which saved us from sin is the same Word which will cleanse us from all ungodliness and deliver us from Jesus’ chastisement.
Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.