Summary: Dealing with the 3rd church of Revelation "compromising"
INTRO: Told story before but it fits in so well with my message today, I’ll tell it again.
The following is a Russian parable. A hunter raised his rifle and took careful aim at a large bear. When about to pull the trigger, the bear spoke in a soft soothing voice, "Isn’t it better to talk than to shoot? What do you want? Let us negotiate the matter."
Lowering his rifle, the hunter replied, "I want a fur coat." "Good," said the bear, "that is a negotiable question. I only want a full stomach, so let us negotiate a compromise."
They sat down to negotiate, and after a time the bear walked away alone. The negotiations had been successful. The bear had a full stomach, and the hunter had his fur coat.
Compromises rarely satisfy both sides in equal measure.
TRUTH: One of the devil’s most devious methods is getting Christians to compromise. If he can succeed, Christians will be rendered spiritually ineffective.
TEXT: Rev. 2:12-17
TITLE: Riding The Fence
I. Review: Ephesus taught us you can be so busy you can lost your first love.
Smyrna dealt with suffering Christians and their hope.
- Today look at Pergamum - compromising Christians - you see, if the devil can’t knock you out, he will invite you to dine with him.
A. Method he uses: Is to compromise, one foot in church while having one foot in the world.
-Churches in America have been compromised, seduced by the devil. They’ve embraced the world’s philosophies and teachings.
-Generally churches are not outright rejecting the gospel or the Bible, but they are mixing the world philosophies into Christianity.
-Talk about three points:
I) Who Can Be Seduced
II) How Does Seduction Occur
III) The Cure For Seduction
I. Who Can Be Seduced - v. 13 (Read) Bible believing, witnessing orthodox Christians, basically those that were true.
A. Enemy not going to go after those he already owns. He’s going to try for those who are his enemy.
B. Church Pergamum - was a Bible-believing, orthodox church. They believed in the 3 B’s (blood, only atonement for sin. book - God’s revelation to man. Blessed hope - Christ will return).
-They were the type of folks who thought if God said it, and we believe it; and that’s all there is to it.
1. They were witnessing Christians. -Word witness GK word myturas translated myter (KJ). See in those days, if you were a witness, you were a myter.
-Willing to die for your faith, there were no secret service Christians.
a. Antipas - Jesus says did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness.
-Leader of the church, Pastor, was a faithful witness.
1. Legend has it - Antipas met his death by being slowly roasted to death within a brazen bull.
b. Today: So many times we get in our Christian circles and we demonstrate our Christianity. But we equally play it down in circles where Christianity meets opposition.
1. Pastor: You don’t know my workplace, the place I go to school. -Your right, I don’t; but our Lord does.
-v. 13 "I know where you live." (Doug, I know your environmen; Verne, I know yours; Tammy, I know yours.)
c. Question: If you were arrested for the crime of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you of your witness?
C. Christians in Pergamum - were in a difficult place, where Satan lives (throne).
1. Meaning - In Pergamum worship many Gods, one was Asclepios (The Savior). You might not recognize him by name, but maybe you would by sight. He is the God of Medicine (snake twined around a staff).
-Military medical profession wear these on their lapel, emblem snake around a pole (God of healing).
a. Also had temple of Zeus - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Zeus was the head of the greek parthenon, tremendous altar.
-Pergamum was the capital city of Roman province of Asia (emperor worship). -Pergamum was the administrative center of Asia (the head) change the head - rest follows.
ex Carlton, St. Olaf (there seems to be a heavy occult practice around these areas because coming out of these high-power colleges are your future leaders) enemy knows, get early, he’ll have future leaders in his pocket.
b. Devil headquarters are - In City of Pergamum (administrative center to whole of Asia).
2. Lord’s army - Plant a church right in middle of enemy headquarters.
-Sometimes we as Christians want to withdraw from the evil and just be around our Christian friends, but that is not God’s plan (he wants to air drop us right into the devil headquarters).
Principle: Christian life is not escape, but conquest (imagine if all Christians just stayed with Christian friends, insulating themselves from the lost. How could world be reached, or the works of devil destroyed).