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.
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “The highest honor that God can confer upon his children is the blood-red crown of martyrdom. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings that God has made, are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Revival is worthwhile at any price.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “No church that values its own standards can afford to depreciate revivals of religion. The whole history of the Christian Church from its foundation until now is the history of revivals. It should always be borne in mind that real revival is something infinitely higher than a mere gale of religious excitement sweeping over the churches. A genuine revival is a manifestation of supernatural and Divine power.”
Jesus continued his commendation of the church at Pergamos by pointing out one of their own: Antipas, whom He calls, “My faithful martyr.” From Scripture, we don’t know much about who this Antipas was, but, according to Christian tradition, he was the Bishop of the church at Pergamos who had been ordained by John during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian. After casting demons out among the local populace, Antipas was martyred by being burned to death on a pagan altar in the year 92.
The name Antipas means “against all.” It reminds us that even when it seems as though everything and everyone is against us, Jesus is with us and for us, and we can persevere. We may, like Antipas, meet with death while standing for Christ. When Antipas was killed, it seemed like the enemies of the faith had won, but Antipas was truly victorious because he went on to be with His Lord and He was deemed “faithful” by Jesus Christ. That is something we all ought to desire — for Jesus to say to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Being faithful to Jesus may require us to be martyred, and not just in the sense of being killed. The original meaning of the Greek word for “martyr” is: witness, or one who testifies. Not all true Christians will be killed by the world, but all true Christians will choose to be martyrs to the world. That is, we must be willing to testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and that, believing in Christ, anyone can have eternal life through Him. We must be willing to testify to this truth when the heat is on and when it’s not. Most importantly, we ought to let our lives be a witness to who Christ is and what He has done in our hearts, and in the words of Queen Esther, if we perish, we perish.
Charles Wesley wrote:
We for Christ, our master, stand,
Lights in a benighted land:
We our dying Lord confess;
We are Jesus’ witnesses.
Witnesses that Christ hath died,
We with Him are crucified;
Christ hath burst the bands of death,
We His truth boldly express.
Strive we, in affection strive;
Let the purer flame revive,
Such as in the martyrs glowed,
Dying champions for their God.
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.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.