“Lessons From the Seven Churches – Faithfulness”:: By Steven Pace

“I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells” Revelation 2:13 (NKJV).

The Apostle John was exiled to the island of Patmos during the brutal reign of Domitian. The Roman Emperor reigned from 81-96 AD. John’s crime was that he proclaimed and shared the saving message of the Lord Jesus (Revelation 1:9). On Patmos, John received a prophetic revelation that included seven letters to seven churches that existed at that time in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). These letters contain both correction and encouragement, which are relevant not only to the believers of that time but also to us today. In this series of articles, we will examine each church to explore their significance.

He Knows Where I Walk

The third church addressed was the church in Pergamum, located approximately 45 miles from Smyrna. It also “boasted one of the finest libraries of antiquity and was the place where parchment was first used. It had once been the capital of the Roman province of Asia.” [1] Additionally, Pergamum was a city with an altar to Zeus, prevalent emperor worship, and various pagan cults. Although they lived in an ungodly society, once again Jesus reminds them that He “knows” their situation. What a great reminder for us as well.

“The Lord commended the works of these believers who stayed faithful in the midst of such evil. He was well aware of the conditions and pressures under which they worked as they lived out their commitment.” [2]

“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me” Psalm 142:3 (NKJV).

Standing Firm in Pergamum

It is amidst this background that the Lord commends the believers for remaining faithful in this ungodly environment (Revelation 2:13). Even when one of their brethren, Antipas, was martyred, they held onto their faith in the Lord. Although we do not know a lot about Antipas, he is often thought to be the first known Asian to die because he refused emperor worship. Like those faithful believers, the Lord expects us to always remain faithful regardless of our environment.

“Christ’s commendation of the faithfulness of the church at Pergamum is a challenge to Christians today to stand true when engulfed by the evil of this present world, the apostasy within the ranks of religion, and the temptation to compromise their stand of the truth.” [3]

One lesson that we learn from the church at Pergamum is to remain faithful to the Lord and His Word even when we live in an ungodly environment. It seems that every day our culture continues to deteriorate. However, we need to remember that Christ is fully aware of what is going on in our lives and all that is around us. This should encourage us that He is with us each day. Let us commit ourselves to being faithful, looking to the day when the Lord says to us, “Well done, my faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

“Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” Revelation 2:10 (NKJV).


Dr. Steven F. Pace

Senior Pastor

Decatur Bible Church





[1] The Ryrie Study Bible. NASB 95 Edition.

[2] David Levy. Revelation Commentary, pg. 43.

[3] John Walvoord. Revelation Commentary, pg.66.