Summary: Are we a thermometer Christian or a thermostat Christian?


I. Illustration--Two items that measure temperature:

a. Thermometer

1. It measures the temperature of the body

2. It is usually used to check whether a person has a fever or not.

3. Although it reads the temperature of the body, it cannot change it.

b. Thermostat

1. It measures the temperature of the house

2. It also has the ability to change the temperature of the house

c. Christians can be classified into two groups--Thermometer Christians and Thermostat Christians.


II. Thermometer Christians

a. They are referred to as nominal Christians. They are Christians by name only.

b. Mental and Psychological Dispositions--They are always dependent on the environment in which they are exposed.

1. If the people around them are happy, they are happy.

2. If the people around them are sad, they are also sad.

3. If the people around them are excited by evangelism, they are also excited.

4. If the people around them feel lousy, they also become lousy.

c. Beliefs--They serve only as mirrors of the ideas and concepts of others.

1. If the people around them say that the Ten Commandments are no longer binding, they believe it.

2. If the people around them say that the Sabbath had been changed from Saturday to Sunday, they accept it.

3. If the people around say that you can eat whatever you want, they eat everything they can find.

4. If the people around them say that church is not important or marriage is not important as you love the Lord and you love one another, then it’s good enough for them.

d. Commitment

1. Thermometer Christians are less committed to the work of the church.

2. They try to negotiate to the minimum as much as possible.

e. Lifestyles

1. Their wardrobe is full of different apparel.

2. They have different wardrobe for different occasion.

3. They are easily lost in the crowd. They can easily mingle according to the situation.

III. Thermostat Christians

a. They are Christians not by name only, but by works. For faith without work is dead. James 2:17

b. Mental and Psychological Dispositions--Instead of being dependent to their environment, they try to change their environment.

c. Beliefs--They are like the Bereans who not only received the messages with great eagerness but also examined the Scriptures every day to see if what has been given to them is according to the Bible. Acts 17:11

d. Commitment--They are the ones who walk an extra mile for the church. They are the ones who would wake up early in the morning to open the church, and they leave last to make sure that everything is in order.

e. Lifestyle--They are the ones that stand out from among the crowd. You don’t need to have a 20/20 vision to recognize them. They are consistent in every way.

f. Other Characteristics:

1. Thermostat Christians are not named Martin Luther, but they defend and stand for their faith like Martin Luther.

2. They don’t have the theological ability of John Wesley, but they sure know what they believe and what the bible teaches.

3. They don’t have the preaching ability of Dwight Moody or Spurgeon, but you can see the light in their lives.

4. When they pray, they don’t pray like the Pharisee, but they pray like the tax collector, and yet God is able to hear their prayers.

5. When they give, they give like that old woman who came to the temple with her two coins, but they give with all their hearts.

IV. The World’s Greatest Need

a. The greatest want of the world is the want of men--men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. Education, p. 57. (1903) {Colporteur Ministry 54.4

b. "And there were going on with him great multitudes, and having turned, he said unto them, `If any one doth come unto me, and doth not hate his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, and yet even his own life, he is not able to be my disciple; and whoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, is not able to be my disciple." Luke 14: 25-27

V. How to Become a Thermostat Christian?

a. Mind of Jesus

1. Transformed by the renewing of your mind--Romans 12:2

i. How? Philippians 2:5 "Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus."

j. Matthew 12:34: "You children of serpents! How can you say anything good when you are evil? For the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart."

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