“I will build My Church” – Phase 3

Following ten different time periods of horrendous persecution for Christ’s Church under Roman Emperors, there came along an Emperor who issued an edict to halt the persecutions. His name was Emperor Constantine. It was finally good news and a cessation of torture and persecution and surely it was onwards and upwards and the Church would grow. It could surely not be worse – could it?

The Church or Bride of Christ was purchased by Jesus’ blood and is ‘betrothed ‘ only to Christ. Christ is the groom of the church, but in Pergamun and this phase of the Church, Emperor Constantine brought the church into the ‘state’ – the church was now mixed with the state! Pergamum literally means ‘mixed marriage’ and that is exactly what had happened to the Church of Jesus. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:2 that the ‘church has been betrothed’ to one husband – and that is Jesus Christ!’ The church does not belong to the state. Is there a church that is a state today? If so, it is not the Church of Jesus, as Jesus declares in John 18:36 -“My Kingdom is not of this world.”

This ‘mixed union’ inevitably was to collapse as the Church of Christ belongs to no one but Jesus himself! In the letter to Pergamum, it contains a few things that are ‘mixed’ that needed to be addressed and sorted out! Jesus introduces himself in the letter as the ‘one with the double-edged sword!” Nice intro! There were ‘divided loyalties’ and Jesus will sort out and see what side you are on!!!

Are you with Christ alone OR are you of the world? Are you storing up treasures in heaven and eyes on Jesus OR, building your own kingdom on earth and playing as a member of Christ’s Church? Also, there was false teaching being propagated in the Pergamum church. Are you listening to the ‘appointed leaders’ OR listening to other external influences and bringing them into the church? Who is influencing you?

Jesus is so very serious in seeing where your loyalty lies. He is the one with the double-edged sword and He will use it to penetrate and see the thoughts of the heart. Hebrews 4:12-13 says – “12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Oh precious Jesus, may we as your bride and church, have our eyes on you and be guided by you, your Word and Spirit always as we navigate our journeys here on earth with and for you. May we never have divided loyalties and live our lives for the glory and honour of your beautiful name. Amen.