Reflections on Revelation #48

Day 48

“’I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold firmly to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” Rev 2:13 NASB.

The statement “have not denied my faith” is the natural reverse of, “hold on to your confession of faith.” (Heb 4:14; 10:23) The believers in Pergamum have not only retained their trust and confidence in God in good times, but they have also refused to deny that faith when placed under pressure. We develop our faith in God and His teachings by applying His Word to everyday life. As we see God’s hand at work in everyday life, our faith grows. As our faith passes smaller tests, it is strengthened to where it can pass the more serious tests that may come our way. Faith is built in small steps. It is in the small things that our faith learns to grow. It is in the large challenges that our faith is tested.

The book of Revelation reports the execution of a Christian named Antipas. His name has an interesting meaning. It means “against everyone.” This fits in well with the typical Gentile accusation against Christians that they were “haters of the human race.” The appellation was placed on Christians because they refused to participate in various aspects of the civil religion that were expected of all good Roman citizens. At the very least they were considered anti-social, and their presence was thought to be bad luck for any community.
While details are not given, it is clear that Antipas died a martyr to his faith. Imagine living in a place where you never knew which neighbour might suddenly report your faith to the authorities! If it could happen to Antipas, it could happen to any Christian.

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