Faithful unto Death
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. ~Revelation 2:13
Faithfulness implies unswerving commitment and loyalty to a cause, mission, and purpose. Our Lord is very concerned that He will find faith on the earth when He returns (Luke 18:8). Paul stated that a steward is to be found faithful. A husband and wife pledge faithfulness to one another for their marriage. This morning, our devotion centers on Antipas, a man who is described as a faithful martyr.
We see Antipas and his MUNICIPALITY.
Antipas lived in the city of Pergamos. It was a commercial city. It was located on the western part of Asia Minor in what is called Mysia Minor. Mysia Minor was north of Smyrna, 20 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. The river Selinus flowed through it, and the Cetius ran past it. It was the birthplace of the physician Galen, and had a great royal library. It was also a cultic city where many cult religions thrived. It was the seat of the dynasties of Attalus and Eumenes. It was famous for its temple of Aesculapius, who was known as the god of medicine and famous for his symbol for medicine, the serpent wrapped around a rod. It was a wealthy city with many temples devoted to idol worship – statues, altars, and sacred groves. It was the place where the pagan Babylonian cults of Belshazzar (Magian) moved to, and as a result became the hub for the pagan cults of Athena, Ascelepius, Dionysius, and Zeus. The temple there is described as Satan’s seat or throne. This city is described as where Satan’s seat is and where Satan dwelleth. It was a stronghold of the devil.
We see Antipas and his MEMBERSHIP.
A church planter got a burden for that city and started preaching the gospel, and as a result, people were getting saved and a church was started. There in the midst of a pagan stronghold, Jesus was being lifted up and a difference was being made. This is where Antipas was saved, baptized, and discipled; and he was one of the many witnesses of the church. Jesus commended the church at Pergamos for holding fast His name and not denying the faith. It was a biblical church! It was a bold church! It was a church that shined brightly as a beacon for His glory! In the midst of a Satan’s stronghold, here was a church, and one of its members shining brightly!
We see Antipas the MESSENGER.
He was a soulwinning messenger. He was a man committed to proclaiming the gospel message to the citizens of his city. If this church had an organized soulwinning program, he was a vibrant part of it. It’s possible he did open-air street preaching. It’s possible he looked for ways to get the gospel into places of education and public assemblies. Antipas was a model soulwinner and witness because he had a burden to get the people out of the bondage of sin, and under the liberating power of the gospel. Antipas is an example of the kind of witness every church needs.
We see Antipas the MARTYR.
Antipas was slain for his witness. It was a well-known fact that he gave his life for the gospel. Many years later, a missionary who gave his life for the gospel said, “He is no fool to give that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” That missionary was Jim Elliot. Antipas is among the many heroes of faith of whom the world is not worthy. He did not lose his life the day he was slain. He “lost” his life the day he decided Jesus was all the world to him.
Be inspired this morning by the life of Antipas. Be faithful even unto death!
Have a faithful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Joshua 19-21