WEEK 3 // “A Church Renewed in Truth” // Rev. 2:12-17
- Read Matthew 16:11-12. Why did Jesus warn us about yeast? What did yeast stand for in Jewish teaching? What was Satan’s tactic to attack the church of Pergamum?
- Read Revelation 2:12-17. What factors were tempting believers to compromise their faith? What are some examples of ways they were doing this?
- Pastor Bob said, “In my own life, I’ve found that it’s easy to begin tolerating sin when I bend to our culture’s expectation that everyone be ‘open-minded.’ It’s also sometimes hard to define the difference between loving people with the love of Jesus and condoning their sinful behavior. Worse yet, when we think we’re spending time with them to witness to them, we can find ourselves sinking into the same behaviors we were trying to save them from. Over time, something we once knew to be so wrong seems okay.” Have you ever experienced this? Share.
- What are idols? What were some of the idols worshipped in the time this letter was written? What are some modern-day idols people in our culture worship? Are there any that you have struggled with?
- How was God working in the background, preparing the church at Pergamum for this time when there would be no barriers to the spreading of the Gospel?
- How does Jesus conclude this letter in verse 17? What will be the result for those who stand firm?
- How have your convictions and devotion to Jesus helped you overcome persecution? How can we, as Central Community Church, prioritize our values and mission to elevate God’s Kingdom over our own worldly desires?
WEEK 2 // “A Church Reinforced for Suffering” // Rev. 2:8-11
- How is Central Community Church similar to Smyrna? What do we need to be on guard against? Should we be surprised when persecution or suffering comes? How should we handle it?
- Read Revelation 2:8-11. How did Smyrna get their name? Pastor Bob said, “Jesus wants early Christians to know that even if they face death for Him…there is a resurrection coming that is a far better life than this.”
How does this theme connect with Smyrna?
- What is Jesus’ word to this church…or for that fact, anyone who is going through the crushing weight of persecution or suffering? What caused suffering in Smyrna?
- What is Jesus’ perspective on wealth and being poverty stricken?
- The crown was the symbol for Smyrna. What did it symbolize? What did Jesus say about it?
- Can you look back in your life to a time of suffering that God eventually worked for your good and His glory? As you share with your group, consider times of suffering you have gone through and how God brought you out of it. How were you transformed through it? How do the testimonies of other sufferers impact your walk with God?
WEEK 1 // “A Church Reignited In Love” // Rev. 2:1-7
- What was the illustration Pastor Bob used to explain what he meant by “pushing the refresh button”? What happens to the relationships in our life if we don’t push it? What is the result when the refresh button has been pushed? Share a personal example.
- What do the seven lampstands represent? What did Pastor Bob say is God’s goal for Central Community Church? How can we make the greatest impact? What images come to mind?
- Read Revelation 2:1-7. What did Christ commend the church at Ephesus for? What did He hold against them? What will be the reward for the one who overcomes?
- What does Jesus say matters to Him most? The Ephesian church was doing the right things but for the wrong reasons and they were losing their effectiveness. How have you witnessed this, and have you ever experienced how duty and habit can dim a church’s light?
- Consider your love for God. What have you found in your life has helped you to keep the fire stoked and your passion for God burning?
- Are you as on fire for God as you once were? Is love what motivates you to serve Him and those you encounter? What will you do to remember to continue to push the refresh button? What will that look like for you personally, and then how can you support one another?