RIVERSIDE BLOG

Post Author: Tim Chilvers

Tim Chilvers is the Senior Pastor at Riverside Church.
June 18, 2023
Sitting On The Fence | Session 4

BY: Tim Chilvers
DATE: Sunday 18 June 2023

‘BIBLE PASSAGES: Read online
Revelation | Chapter 2 | Verses 12-17

EXCERPT:
Have you ever tried to sit on a fence? It can get uncomfortable pretty quickly! The word ‘compromise’ comes from the idea of making a mutual promise and commitment – two different views, coming together. There are so many times when such a thing is necessary and good. And yet, sometimes, compromise means settling for things that aren’t good, like trying to sit on a fence. For these ancient followers of Jesus, it seems that they were compromising in a really unhealthy way. They were trying to live in two camps – following Jesus, whilst tolerating evil at the same time. And John reminds them that sitting on the fence is neither comfortable, or a good thing in the long-run.

TRANSCRIPT:
Please scroll to the bottom of this page. 

  Youth Resources

BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS

Each week there are TWO different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring the Bible within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.

A | DISCUSSION STARTERS
These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):

1 | Was there anything that particularly helped you during the talk?

2 | Was there anything that you didn’t necessarily agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?

3 | As a result of the talk, what:

a. Changes do you want to see?

b. Truths do you need to remember?

c. Actions do you need to take?

 

 

B | QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE
These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:

Read: Revelation, Chapter 2, verses 12-17

1 | Can you think of a situation in which most people would agree that a ‘compromise’ is a good thing, and another when ‘compromise’ would definitely not be seen as a good thing?

2 | Read Revelation 2:12-17. In v12-13, we learn a number of things about Jesus. In light of what follows in v14-17, why do you think these particular attributes of Jesus are so relevant?

3 | The church in Pergamum is commended for holding fast to Jesus’ name and not denying their faith, even in the face of persecution (v13). How might we apply this example to our lives as followers of Jesus?

4 | In verse 14, Jesus challenges the church in Pergamum for tolerating false teaching and practices. How can we guard against similar compromise today? Why might we sometimes find it difficult to see the areas in which we are in danger of wrong compromise?   

5 | The church in Pergamum is located where “Satan’s throne” is. We don’t really use this sort of language today! Why might it be so helpful to remember that followers of Jesus are in a spiritual battle? How can we have a healthy posture in our lives about it? See Ephesians 6:10-20..

6 | Verse 17 talks about ‘hidden manna’ and a ‘white stone’ with a new name written on it, which will be given to the Jesus follower who endures. There are a wide variety of interpretations about what these are referring to! However, what is clear is that followers of Jesus who endure, even in the middle of opposition, get access to something wonderful and with a complete transformation of their identity. As Paul writes in Colossians 3:3, your ‘…life is now hidden with Christ in God.’ How might this change how followers of Jesus are able to live and endure hardship today? 

7 | The church in Pergamum is urged to repent of their tolerance of false teachings and practices. What do you think this repentance looks like in practice?

8 | Jesus promises that those who overcome will receive “a new name” written on a white stone. How might this be a huge encouragement? What does this concept of a ‘new name’ reveal about belonging in Christ, and what significance might it hold for our lives today?

9 | Take some time to pray. Ask God that he would enable you to keep clinging onto Jesus, even in challenging circumstances. 

As you work through these questions pray for one another to deepen and develop your relationship with Jesus.

BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES

VIDEO |’Book of Revelation Summary’ by the Bible Project (from start until 3mins 45 sec) 

BLOG LINKS | Meditations on Revelation 2-3’ by Sam Storms. 

BOOK |

Revelation for the Rest of Us’ by Scot McKnight and Cody Matchett

BOOK |

Chapter 5 from ‘The Gospel in Revelation’ by Graeme Goldsworthy.

Download link.

BOOK |

‘Revelation’ (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament; BECNT) by Grant Osborne

BOOK |

‘Revelation’ (New Cambridge Bible Commentary; NCBC) by Ben Witherington

TRANSCRIPT

 

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Riverside is a church made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences all with one thing in common, our discovery of God and his amazing love. 

We are on a journey together to ‘help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers’. 

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