Pergamos – The Worldly Church Needed to
Repent of Compromise
DATE: 2 Dec, 2001
PLACE: BBC Blarney
Introduction (Acts 17:10-12)
A. The seven churches of the Book of the Revelation are a real eye-opener, as far as what Jesus expects of His churches, and what He finds!
B. In studying these seven churches, we will find some surprising things going on, that you would not think would be going on, and yet they are in churches
A. This is our third church we are studying in this series
B. The first two churches dealt with:
1. Keeping our First Love, First
2. Staying faithful, consistent, dependable as Christians
C. This morning we want to look at the needs of a third church
D. This church is IN the world, so, it needs to constantly make sure that the world doesn’t find its way into the church!
1. It’s called, “Compromising” – politicians do it, but Christians don’t!
2. It has to do with Christians being careful about what is being taught, and what is being believed by the people in it!
3. It gets Jesus very upset when it occurs! This is HIS church – as ALL churches are supposed to be!
4. If someone wants to set-up something different that a Biblical church, then they ought to call it something else, but NOT a “church”
A. Their Good Works (Rev 2:12-13)
1. Three Strengths
a. Staying power
b. Praying power
c. Obeying power
2. Staying Power
a. This church was started right in the middle of Satan’s stronghold
1) Pergamos was a wicked city with four big cults in it
2) It was Satan’s SEAT of power in that area – a county seat, or place of authority in the area
b. This church decided to STAY where it was
1) They LIVED there – dwelt there. It was their home
2) The Christians in that church were FROM the area
c. It knew it was NEEDED there
1) Churches are not started only where it is easy, or acceptable
2) They wanted to see more of the people won to Christ
3) So, they weren’t going to run when things got hard!
d. This church had STAYING power – every church needs this!
1) Staying in tough marriages
2) Staying in jobs that are not what they wanted
3) Staying in the Bible when the TV was more attractive
3. Praying Power (Cf Jn 14:13,14, 26; 15:16; 16:23,24)
a. They held fast to relying on the name of Jesus for all their needs
b. Instead of on the government, or family, or debt
c. These folks held tightly to the name of Jesus – precious on their lips
d. I believe they had staying power because they had praying power!
4. Obeying Power
a. These Christians, in spite of persecution, did not deny Christ’s faith
b. Notice something unusual about this statement
1) Jesus is not talking about each of us having our own beliefs
2) My faith is to be patterned after Christ’s faith (Gal 2:20)
3) My faith is complete (Jude 1:3) – in this BOOK
c. These Christians had decided that what Christ said to do, was to be held to, and obeyed, even when the whole world around them was crying out for them to compromise
d. An example is given of Antipas
1) A faithful martyr
2) Slain, cut-down right among the people – in view
3) Slain because he was where God wanted him
4) Christ honours that man, for all eternity, recorded in Scripture!
5) Question: has your obedience to Christ ever cost YOU anything?
5. These are some GREAT WORKS – works we need as a church!
B. Their Weak Areas (Rev 2:14,15)
1. False Teachers – this is sad – wolves in sheep’s clothing
a. Unsaved people teaching in the church (not born-again) just religious
b. Untaught people – untrained
c. Unconcerned people – not concerned about clear truth
d. So, these people ended up teaching FALSE doctrines (1Tim 4:1-3)
e. This goes for false PREACHERS too!
1) Unsaved – not born-again – just religious
2) Untaught – start various denominations
3) Unconcerned – just wanting a following
2. False Teaching, Doctrine – Two things were being exposed here by Christ
a. What are these two “doctrines”
1) Balaam’s doctrine
2) The doctrine, or teaching of the Nicolaitanes
b. Doctrine of Balaam
1) Taught God’s people, who are supposed to be devoid of all idols, to have idols in their homes, and churches – compromise so to seem more like the world around them
2) Taught God’s people to fornicate – vile and wicked
a) By getting Christian girls to date unsaved boys
b) By getting Christian boys to date and marry unsaved girls
c) DATING leads NOT to purity, but to FORNICATION
d) Used to be a good thing to be a virgin, but dropping our standards, and compromising causes our young ladies and young men to fornicate, and then, fall away!
e) Today’s TV is presented to 3 year olds
f) Radios are on ALL DAY LONG with filth and fornication
3) These two things caused Israel to stumble and fall on the way to the Promised Land
4) Christ’s CHURCH is not to have this going on
a) Guys and girls kissing before marriage – sin
b) Worshipping music stars, and movies stars and sports
c) If there is the world cup on a Sunday, you had better be HERE
c. Doctrine of the Nicolatines
1) It was the Roman church controlling the laity – common people
3) Jesus HATES this doctrine
3. False Security
a. This church thought it didn’t matter that this was being taught
b. The Christians tolerated this going on in the church
c. 1 Cor 5:1,2,6,7
d. If no one else minds this stuff going on is Christian homes and churches, it doesn’t matter – JESUS MINDS!
C. Their Opportunity (Rev 2:16-18)
a. Every church has its weak areas
1) Church at Ephesus was weak on their love for God
2) Church at Smyrna was weak or getting weak on their commitment and faithfulness to Christ
b. The concern for this church is whether they would care enough about Jesus’ opinion to fix it, or just ignore it
2. Repent – what a simple word
a. Repent of the false doctrine being propagated
b. Repent of the false intentions of the Christians – thinking they can live and believe any way they want, and still call themselves Christian
3. Overcome, Conquer this problem
a. By Rightly dividing the Scriptures – careful study – know what to believe
b. By submitting to the word of God – not to every new fangled thing that swing by
4. Enjoy – every Christian can discover and enjoy:
a. Hidden manna in the Bible Study – had to be gathered every day
b. Honour – a new name engraved on a pure white stone that honours you for all eternity
A. Things We Should Understand
1. Every Bible-believing church is in Satan’s area of authority – enemy territory
2. Every church has some defects, some weak areas, some sins that must be addressed
3. If Christians don’t address, and fix those areas, then the LORD WILL (1Pet 4:17)!
B. Things We Need
1. Firm Beliefs
a. About this Bible
b. About what the Gospel is, and salvation
c. About purity in our lives, and thoughts, and church!
2. Careful, not Critical Examination
a. We always need to carefully examine what we learn
b. In a Bible believing church EVERYBODY has their Bible to check up on pastor Craig, or ANYBODY who teaches and preaches!
3. Sensitive Response
a. Too many are hard-hearted towards the Lord
b. A Christian is hard-headed about truth, but soft hearted about rebuke
c. We need to see if what we believe is causing us to allow
1) Idolatry in our homes – especially of sports and movies
2) Fornication in our lives – on TV, Internet, radio (all they talk about)!