Summary: Topical Sermon focusing on how Christians can either live like a spiritual thermometer (passive/reflective/mimicking the world ) or a spiritual thermostat (active, a change agent, surrendered to the will and guidance of the Holy Spirit)
Title: Are you a Thermometer or a Thermostat?
Topical Sermon focusing on how Christians can live like a thermometer or a thermostat.
Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ His Son who came to take away the sin of the world!
Today, we live in a golden age of inventions. It seems like every time you turn on the TV or get on the internet someone is sharing some new invention. It's fantastic seeing all the new things that are being created today. One could not say that about the 16th century. Some historians have labeled the 16th century as the "dog days of the Renaissance". While it was an age of art, poetry and religious discussions it produced very few inventors and inventions. The reason for this was quite simple. The 16th century was an age of war. Over 120 different wars and rebellions took place during the 16th century. It was an age when empires and kingdoms fought against each other and when civil rebellions were hot and heavy.
But it did have one rather unusual inventor named Cornelius Drebbel1. Drebbel was born in 1572 in Holland where he grew up studying engraving. He had plans to live out his life as a map maker. However, around the turn of the century Drebbel was introduced to the world of chemistry (alchemy). Something sparked in his soul and Drebbel's inventive mind came alive. Over the rest of his life he would be involved in the invention and construction of all kinds of things including the world's first submarine and the world's first perpetual clock.
But it is not the submarine that history most remembers Drebbel. His most famous inventions while more modest have helped transform our world. Drebbel is credited with creating and improving both the thermometer and the thermostat. Today, you can thank this little Dutch man for giving us these two great inventions. And this morning, it is those two inventions, the thermometer and thermostat that can help us get a handle on what the Holy Spirit wanted to share with the congregation at Laodicea.
Let me share with you what I mean. If you look at the central issue that was affecting the Church in Laodicea you can see what was happening to them was that they had chosen to be a THERMOMETER CHURCH full of THERMOMETER CHRISTIANS at a time when the LORD was looking for a THERMOSTAT CHURCH filled with THERMOSTAT CHRISTIANS.
That's right. Instead of being Thermometer Christians the LORD is looking for us today to be Thermostat Christians. Instead of being a Thermometer Church the Lord is looking for us to be a Thermostat Church. Now, let's take a few moments this morning and see what this exactly means. What exactly does it mean to be a Thermometer Christian and what does it mean to be a Thermostat Christian? What is the difference between the two?
1. THERMOMETER CHURCHES and THERMOTER CHRISTIANS
Let's begin by picturing in our minds a thermometer. It can be large or small thermometer because its size does not matter. It can be one that is designed to stay inside a home or one that has been designed to stay outside. It can be a medical thermometer designed to see if we have a fever or not. It can even be one that we use while we cook to make sure that the our meal is being cooked well. It doesn't matter as long as we are thinking of a thermometer.
Got it? Now, let's look at some of the characteristics of that thermometer
A. The first thing that we notice is that thermometers are passive in nature
That is to say, thermometers do not set the temperature. They merely reflect and register the temperature. They don't cause it to become warmer or colder. Instead, they simply measure the environment in which they find themselves.
If our thermometers are located outside they will reflect that the temperature is either going up or down depending on the current climate conditions. Right now all over our nation we are watching our thermometers tell us that each day the temperature is going down a few more degrees. That is what we expect as we enter into the beginning of the Winter Season. However, when Spring and Summer come around we will watch the exact opposite occurring. We will watch as the fluid in our thermometers starts to rise more and more each and every day. Our thermometers will reflect that it is getting warmer and warmer. They will not cause anything to happen they will simply reflect what is going on.
We don't expect thermometers to be active. That is not their job. They were not designed to be active. They were designed to reflect their environment.