This guy is really a nobody. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, but really, nobody even knows the guy. He’s mentioned one time in the entire Bible, and it’s in the last book of the Bible. What we do know is, he is from a town called Pergamum. Other than that we have no history… no milestones… no checklist on the guy. He’s kind of like the thief on the cross who asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom. All we know about him was he a criminal being put to death. No name. Nothing else.
At least with the guy from Pergamum we have a name. His name is Antipas. Read this about him…
“I know that you live where Satan has his throne. But you have kept true to my name. Right there where Satan lives, my faithful witness Antipas was taken from you and put to death.” Revelation 2:13 CEV
Now, just imagine you have one thing remembered about you, and it was said by Jesus Himself. It was written down in black and white, etched in words and now has been read for millennia. Would He be able to say about you, “My faithful witness…”? That’s almost beyond comprehension. I mean, look what was said about Pergamum – “Right where Satan lives…” Stop and think about what that must have looked liked. And then as I do, I start looking at the world around me. Our world is becoming more anti-Christian on a daily basis and things which were not acceptable, deplorable in years gone by, are now protected as rights under the law. All these things are like a slap in God’s face. We’re not that far away from the culture of Pergamum, are we?
How long will it be before God must withdraw His grace from us after we exhaust His deep patience, and mercy?
But what about Antipas? I can think of nothing that would be more of an honor, and yet more powerfully humbling. It may have been that Antipas was confronted by the government to deny Christ and worship the Emperor, which was common. It may have been any number of similar situations. Whatever the case was Antipas refused to deny his Lord and Savior and, in the human perspective, it cost him his life. He became a martyr. In the light of eternity, Antipas gained his freedom from the battle that wages in our humanness, between the spirit and the flesh. He lost what he could never keep, his mortal life, and gained what he could never lose – eternity with God.
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Ask yourself… What will be recalled to others about you? Is there anything you would like to change? You still have time while you still have breath. Antipas, the unknown faithful witness, may have lost what this world holds on to tightly, but he received the highest honor from his Savior! What will be said of you?
My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. Jesus in Your name I pray, Amen.