Midweek Study Devotional

The Compromising Church

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, “These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword.” Revelation 2:12

Wow, what an intimidating greeting. Why did Jesus introduce Himself to the church in Pergamos as “He who has the sharp two-edged sword”? The sin that the church in Pergamos struggled with most was the sin of compromise. Although Jesus commended them for holding fast to His name and not denying the faith, He was greatly displeased they had allowed the unhealthy practices of the culture around them to seep into their church. 

The Sweet Smelling Aroma of Smyrna

“I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich).” Revelation 2:9

Jesus spoke these wonderful words to the church in Smyrna. The name “Smyrna” means “bitter” and is related to the word “myrrh”. The city of Smyrna was a major port of trade for myrrh. Myrrh is a perfume, and the way the fragrance is released is by crushing it. When crushed, it gives off a wonderful fragrance. It has been used for anointing oil, perfume, embalming and medications for thousands of years. 

The Loveless Church

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7

Each of the seven letters to the churches in Revelation ends with an amazing exhortation. The words of the Spirit are the very words of our loving Savior. All seven letters were to be read to the churches, and all those who heard and heeded His words are told they would overcome. But what would they overcome? We usually think this is referring to overcoming sin, but here Jesus seems to be talking about overcoming a lack of love for God. The first letter is to the church of Ephesus and their main problem was that they had left their first love.