The Sharp Sword of Jesus

Seven Churches of Asia  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

This sermon will consider the message Jesus has for the church at Pergamum and Jesus' defense for His faithful ones and against those who have turned away from Him.

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →


Jesus’ describes himself at every opening message in a way that shapes the message:
Ephesus, He is the One who holds the seven stars and who is among the seven lampstands. Jesus is about to remove their lampstand.
Smyrna, He is the first and last, the One who has defeated death. Jesus will give the crown of life to those who suffer and die in faithfulness to Him.
The opening description of Jesus in shows Jesus taking a strong, defensive posture.
While Jesus describes Himself in a variety of ways, each way is true. He is multi-faceted. But it is also the appropriate response Jesus wants from His churches.
Ephesus must repent if they will continue to shine forth their light.
Smyrna must endure and overcome to receive the crown of life.
Pergamum must hold fast, endure, be faithful, and oppose those who are corrupting and compromising the truth.

Militant Jesus

Many people think Jesus ought to behave in a way that is loving, accepting of all people, and requires absolutely nothing. According to many people’s views, Jesus is all about love, grace, and mercy; He would never require obedience, repentance/change, and He would never think about punishing someone for sins.
This is a FALSE view of who Jesus is.
Jesus reveals Himself and describes Himself in Revelation as the One who has the sharp-two edged sword - ; ,
The sword is a weapon for military use. It is used to defend and protect oneself, while also used offensively to destroy the enemy.
At the end of the book of Revelation, Jesus executes God’s justice and wrath - ,
This sword Jesus uses is a figurative sword. It comes from His mouth - ; ;
Jesus uses words that might alienate, or offend someone.
Jesus uses words that might bring division -
Following Jesus will make enemies, not friends.
Jesus’ teachings will be hard for some people to accept and obey - ,
The word “hell” is used 14 times in the New Testament; 12 of those instances the word comes from the lips of Jesus!
Jesus is a militant figure. He is pictured as judge and warrior. He is militant against those who:
Reject God’s will
Commit evil and injustice against God’s people
Until we come to realize that Jesus is militant and an advocate for justice, righteousness, and obedience to God, then we are missing out on the full revelation of who Jesus is and how He has described Himself.
What makes Jesus so wonderful is that He judges and makes war…and He offers forgiveness.
Jesus brings alienation and offense, but offers reconciliation and friendship.
Jesus brings division, but establishes peace and unity.
Jesus judges and warns of eternal condemnation in hell, but graciously gives eternal life to all who obey Him.

Hold Fast to Faithfulness

Many in the church at Pergamum had been faithfully holding fast to what was good and holy.
“Hold fast” is also a military term for not giving up the high ground and positioning you have placed yourself in.
The church was to hold fast and not give in to the pressures of the battle and the temptations to compromise.
What does faithfulness to the Lord look like? Jesus is very clear...
The Identity of Jesus, “my name” -
Divine Son of God -
God’s faithful witness - He is the One who has perfectly revealed God to us (, )
Since Jesus is the Divine Son of God, perfect and freed from sin, He becomes the way of salvation to all people - ; ,
The person and identity of Jesus Christ demands loyal service and faithfulness to Him!
Many will do things in the name of Jesus, yet will not be faithfully doing the will of God -
The Teachings of Jesus, “my faith” or “faith in Me” -
The faith that was once delivered, the objective truth that has been revealed, is what we must be committed to keeping and following -
Witness for Christ -
Some in the first century were being persecuted and even killed for their loyalty to Jesus. Just uttering the phrase “Jesus is Lord!” was worthy of the death penalty - cf. ;
Jesus was killed for His loyalty to God -
Faithful witness and “firstborn of the dead”
A witness testifies, speaks truth, and is unashamed of what they stand for and live for!
What is your witness to others?
Do you share the good news of Jesus with others? Do people see you living for Christ, studying His word, exemplifying how to live holy lives? Or are you living like the rest of the world?
Actions (gambling, alcohol)
Do you engage in spiritual conversations with fellow Christians and family members?
Do you talk about things you’ve read that have been encouraging and share that with other members of the Lord’s church?
Do you teach your family members?
Do you publicly allow people to know that you are a Christian, where you go to church, and that they should come to follow Jesus in just the same way?
Our witness will be public and it is more than just good intentions and words. It is our whole manner of living.

Turncoats in the Church

While the church-at-large in Pergamum seemed to be primarily battling the same sort of sufferings that Smyrna was, there was a presence in the church that was capable of compromising the church -
The church in Pergamum had accepted and tolerated those who were not fighting for the Lord’s side. At one time they might have been, but they have turned.
“Turncoat” is the military term we label someone who changes side in a war.
Benedict Arnold is the most infamous turncoat in American history. He fought for the American Revolution, but felt shunned by George Washington and the Continental Army, so while at West Point, he began operating covertly and giving secrets to British troops.
There were turncoats in the church. They were now operating as agents for Satan.
They were engaged in:
False teaching
Stumbling blocks
How could we accept someone who might come in and teach something that we know would cause people to stumble and violate their conscience? We cannot accept anyone just because of likability. If they stand for something that is false, we cannot accept that. Repentance is prescribed.
Corrupted worship
Compromised morality
The battle plan that Jesus issued forth as the commander: repent -
While it might have only been a minority group within the church, and a majority of the church were striving to be faithful, the church was compromised.
So who was responsible for setting things right? Everybody!
The righteous needed to take a stand against some of their fellow church members.
The wicked needed to humbly submit and change.
All were responsible for setting things right before Christ!
If the church did not repent, then they would not only be fearing the Roman persecution, but also the wrath of Christ.
We cannot allow the church to be in a compromised position:
On fellowship matters with denominations, institutionalism (we must have biblical authority for every practice that we participate in)
On moral and doctrinal matters like divorce and remarriage, homosexuality


Jesus engages in the spiritual battle that we are in.
Satan wants to turn us to his side and sadly, many will be persuaded to turn to the enemy’s side.
Christ will wage war against them - ,
The challenge for us: “hold fast” and be a faithful witness to the cause of our Lord and Christ!
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more