Be the Church Week 5 – Internal Threats to the Church – Revelation 2:12-17 – Livestream for 2/5/23

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Small Group Guide:

Open with prayer.

Go around and give everyone a chance to share about how the past week has been. What’s one highlight? What’s one lowlight?

If your small group has talked about it before, feel free to use this time to hold people accountable to what they’ve asked to be held accountable for previously, and go through the “missional” part of this discussion guide.

Revelation 2:12-17

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith[b] even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

Message Outline:

Throughout this sermon series we are looking parts of God’s Word that involve the church, and what it looks like for us to be the church that God created us to be. Today, we’re looking at a message in Revelation that Jesus has for the church in Pergamum. His message to this church helps us to realize:

The enemy is sneaky! He will often use internal threats that pose serious risks to the church, such as

Rev. 2:13-15, 1 Pet. 5:8, Eph. 4:27, 6:11, James 4:7

1. Disunity

1:10, Phil. 2:2, Ps. 133:1, 2 Cor. 13:11

2. Worldly theology

Matt. 6:24, 10:32-33, 12:20, Rom. 12:2, 1 Cor. 9:19-23

3. The church not loving people well

1 Pet. 3:8, Col. 3:14, Rom. 12:4-5, Gal. 6:1, Matt. 18:15, James 5:19-20, 2 Thess. 3:15

So, ask yourself…

1. What internal threats do I face?

John 10:29, Eph. 4:27

2. Am I loving God and others well?

1 John 4:19-21, Matt. 22:37-40

3. How can I better apply God’s Word to my life?

Heb. 4:12, James 1:23-24

Reflection Questions:

  1. Have you ever studied or hear this passage preached on before? What stood out to you?
  2. Where in your life does the enemy have an opportunity to attack you through an internal threat?
  3. How can you love God and others better?
  4. How can you apply God’s Word to your life better?
  5. How can you help other people to understand Christ’s message to the church and Pergamum, and then apply His message to their lives?
  6. What is your biggest take away from this message? What did God teach you? Do you feel led to put anything into action? If so, what, and what practical step(s) do you need to take to be obedient to what God has led you to do? Who can keep you accountable to accomplishing this?

Prayer Time:

Pray for each other in your small group to be faithful take the step(s) that you shared above. Pray for each other and the interactions that they have with those who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God would soften the people’s hearts to what He has for them. Pray that God would give everyone opportunities to share the Gospel.

Staying Missional:

Share spiritual/missional conversations you’ve had where you live, work, and play:

Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
Who in your life do you think could be discipleable or open to spiritual/missional conversations?

What’s next?

Discuss the next step for your small group. When will we gather again and what purpose will it fulfill?