The Compromising, Silent Church Rev. 2:12-17
IF JESUS VISITED: What would He say about our worship and the depth of our prayer? Fortunately, we have a gauge to measure the spiritual condition of our churches and our lives.
RECAP: Unteachable, Unloving – Know it all…to..Perseverance thru Persecution.
Now it’s Compromise and Silence – THE MR. ROGERS CHURCH:
1] When you compromise in the area of sin, you’re often silent about it. 2] Or, it can be a lack of boldness. 3] Or, it’s simply easier.
ONE REASON WHY MANY PARENTS DON’T DRAW A HARD LINE – it’s easier not to “rock-the-boat.”
Like a thermostat, the Pulpit affects the spiritual temp. of the church.
The silent church allows false teaching – the pulpit may not be dead but it will be misled. Pastors of these churches are cheerleaders but never coaches. They encourage but rarely convict.
What if God’s Word remains silent? What if worship lyrics and preaching remain silent? What if police departments just handed out candy?
Rev. 2:12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
*Let it cut out the compromise.
JESUS ENCOURAGES: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
They were holding to the faith even in the face of martyrdom – so this is not necessarily a lukewarm church. A martyr is a witness.
It was the center of political power and worship – the devil felt at home – he was clearly ruling and reigning.
Satan’s Throne: Temples to Zeus (huge altar for him), Apollo, and many others were there including the god of healing – the snake symbol is still used today in the medical world – they allowed snakes to crawl on bodies for healing.
JESUS THEN CONVICTS: “Mr Rogers, you’re a nice guys – you feed the homeless and paint homes for people…14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.” [READ NUMBERS 22 thru 24.]
Breakdown – The Doctrine of Balaam.
There is a very troubling trend toward moral compromise in the evangelical church. I’ve witnessed soft porn images on Christian websites, questionable movie clips during PowerPoint sermons, and youth pastors talk about their favorite sexually charged…
He put “a stumbling block…” … an obstacle to progress before them.
“You have there those who hold to.” Error was allowed: “Well, at least they are coming to church. Who am I to say anything?”
How were they drawn away? Meat sacrificed is welcoming compromise.
Food lust and sexual lust are interwoven – one appetite feeds the other.
You must see the death in it – an example of rat poison in a cake.
WE SAY . . . “It’s not a big deal!”
I’ve learned that the little deals lead to the BIG problems:
It’s just one drink! It’s just a little flirting. It’s just a boys night out. It’s just a little glance. It’s harmless fun! We’ll make a little money on the side – no one will get hurt. I need to compromise in business to keep up. I’ll get just one more prescription so I can get through this week.
Who “taught” them to sin – who is “teaching” you? WE ALL HAVE INFLUENCERS – Books, blogs, videos, teachers, etc.
AND ONE MORE THING: 15 …you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
Could be followers of Nicholas. Clement of Alexander said, “They abandoned themselves to pleasures like goats, leading a life of self indulgence.”
LOOK AT THE LIFESTYLE OF YOUR INFLUENCERS – If you allow one thing, you often allow something else…if a church allows one thing, they often…
EXAMPLE: I know they live together, but they make a great team in children’s ministry. I know he left his wife but he makes a great usher.
Avoiding is not loving, and these things don’t “work themselves out.”
Jesus says, “If you don’t remove them or deal with it, I will…and you may find yourself fighting against Me.”
No Purity = No Power.
Reader Harris once challenged a congregation in regard to power and purity. He said, “Those who want power, line up to my right. Those who want purity, line up to my left.” The congregation lined up 10 to 1 – for POWER!
We want NT power, but not NT purity.
17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’
“Let him hear…” How do we hear? In this case, Remove Compromise – REMOVE THE DESTRUCTIVE INFLUENCE.
Rev. 21:7-8 NKJV, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
He who Overcomes = hidden manna [nourishment you’re not yet aware of].
He who Overcomes = white stone [a reward of victory]
A custom in Rome where a white stone was given to the champions – much like a gold medal. His name was written on it and he received all the benefits that came with it.
Will you receive a white stone and a new name?
The new name comes with the new nature. The old name is associated with the old man.
The presence of God is the reward!