Summary: The Letter to the church at Pergamum Part 2.
AM Sermon preached at Central Christian Church October 15, 2006
…Nothing But The Truth Rev. 2:12-17 The letter to the church at Pergamum part 2
25 years of ministry has taught me a few things and one of them is that there’s no such thing as a perfect temperature for the auditorium. I can almost guarantee you that if you like the temperature of this room right now---there’s someone around you who doesn’t! And if you don’t like it, well there’s someone who does. But hey don’t worry---whether you like the temperature right now or not---what with the heat from the lights and bodies in here it won’t stay the same for long. Some of you who might be feeling BRRRR now might be thinking AHHHH in another 15 or 20 minutes. And some of you feeling just right now, well ---a half hour and 4 or 5 degrees from now----you may be taking off your jacket, fanning yourself with the bulletin or mopping your brow with a handkerchief or tissue.
By the way---have you ever seen a thermostat war take place during a worship service? I have. In the middle of the service you’ve got one person sneaking over and changing the setting. Five minutes later someone else is making another change. A few minutes later someone else is playing with the controls.
I kid you not folks, at the church where I preached before coming to Central---we had enough people complaining back and forth about the temperature that the church board actually ending up voting on the thermostat setting---and then once they decided what it would be---to make sure no one could get up in the middle of the service and change the setting, they put a locking cover over the thermostats. Crazy stuff, huh? Give you and idea of how I think--- I think the designers of church buildings should take a lesson from the retail world----and they should hide the thermostats. Ever seen the thermostat at Wal-Mart or K-Mart? Of course not, they’ve got it hidden. To get to them you have to go through a series of doors and airlocks, pass a security check and match the DNA code of the programmer. Wait a minute---even better than hiding the thermostat----keep the real thermostat in some remote location and put up fake thermostats------you know where I’m going with this one---don’t you? Hmmm—it might just work…
On this matter of reacting to a gradual changes in temperature---I’ve read in several reliable sources that if you take a frog and toss it into a bucket of ice water or a bucket of boiling water that that frog will immediately do everything it can to get out of the bucket. But if on the other hand---you were to gently place a frog into a pan filled with room temperature water and then you were to place that pan on a stove and slowly increase the temperature of the water, the frog would allow itself to be boiled to death without ever even trying to get out of the pan! [SLIDE OF KERMIT THE FROG] That’s right Kermit---it’s not easy being green!
[SERIES SLIDE---WILL AUTOMATICALLY TRANSITION TO TITLE SLIDE, THEN BLANK SLIDE] As we saw last week, Jesus sent a letter to the first century church at Pergamum. In it He expressed His appreciation for their holding on to the truth and not denying His name. He empathized with their living conditions and the fact that it’s tough to be a Christian in Pergamum. But then Jesus went on to address something which greatly disturbed Him. He went on to say how He didn’t like the fact that they were tolerating the teachings of Balaam, and the teachings of the Nicolatians. You see, the church had started out running a great race---they’d started out with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth---but they didn’t keep it that way. False teachers had crept in and slowly but steadily the spiritual climate in the church was changing---and like a frog in a kettle of water with a gradually rising temperature---the people didn’t seem to notice the danger they were in.
Let’s refresh our memories and look again at Jesus’ words found in Revelation 2:12-17….
12"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. 14Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He 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. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.