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September 18, 2019 1:00 am
I wanted to share with you a hypothetical situation was like a young man in his 20s who is healthy and strong and he basically eats junk food all the time and the only exercise he knows is the remote control but exercises fingers and he says look all this nutrition and health clinic in the exercise or just overrated. Look at me. I can even eat large and nothing happens to me I'm strong and not get the condition of my body, Armstrong well two years go by 10 or 15 years and he still strong and is still eating junk food and never exercises and he begins by that time. Of course, convince himself that nothing is going to happen to him that he is fine and he continues in that destructive lifestyle physically speaking, and by that time. Of course nobody convinced himself that he is right. He thinks that he is in the structure that he is invincible. Nothing is gonna happen to him. And of course that goes on for a few more years while internally unseen by the human eye is an internal destruction of the body that is taking place and that but as far as he's concerned he can see a problem. He's doing fine.
No problem at all until one day his arteries begin to clog and then he faces possible death and some of you probably say will Michael where you going with this.
If I really want to get a lecture on nutrition and exercise set now done see a professional and not you and I agree with you, that's all right but I just want you to humor me for a minute because what I want to submit to you this morning that this is what can happen to every one of us individually as believers from a spiritual point of view that is exactly what was happening to the believers in the church of Pergamum in the book of Revelation. Like the healthy young man in his 20s. They were paying no attention to what is happening internally on the outside everything look great so they not paying any attention to the destructive lifestyle that is taking place from the outside. They say everything is going great but what is happening on the inside was very serious. The believers in Pergamum looked at themselves and saw themselves to be biblically healthy from the outside, but their lifestyle was tolerating what is wrong on the outside. They looked okay but only inside there were tolerating a lifestyle of rationalizing a soul, but at least spiritual cancer on the outside. Everything appeared well and nobody could tell of the difference, but on the inside that were ignoring the danger of the spiritual plaque buildup inside of them from the outside.
Everything looked all right but on the inside. There were paying no attention whatsoever to the little but deadly bacteria that was grueling inside the bodies and that is why you all see the all-knowing physician.
The great physician penetrating eyes as we see in the passage says to them, be careful, be forewarned there is danger.
You are in the middle of it. It's taking place is in your midst, and the fact that nothing has happened so far, should not convince you that you going to get away with it and he, the great physician. The resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is saying to them, and is saying to us that if you continue on the road to compromise sooner or later you going to face the shops couple if you continue on the road of turning a blind eye to the growing cancer inside of you, sooner or later you will have to get under the sharp knife. If you continue on the road of undisciplined spiritual life.
Sooner or later you will face a serious consequences if you continue on the road of just wanting to go along to get along sooner or later, you might even face destruction. That's with the risen Christ is saying to everyone of us. The resurrected Lord Jesus Christ appeals to them. He appeals to us to change our lifestyle now before it's too late to change it now while you can and if they do it.
He said the reward is going to be far greater than you can imagine. But if you refuse to repent.
The judgment is going to be greater. I wanted to him erotically as this is very important this morning is to every individual believer is a warning to me this morning is to every church. Every pastor every teacher is to everyone who claims to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. And so, without introduction. Let us read together the very words of the resurrected Jesus in Revelation chapter 2 beginning at verse 12. The last book in the Bible, the book of Revelation chapter 2 verse 12 to 17 is what Jesus is saying to the angel of the church in Pergamum write. These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I 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 event to pass my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city where Satan resides. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, you have people there who hold to the teaching of bailing who taught Bailey to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the neck, a lotion's repent.
Therefore, otherwise I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He 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. Father it is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that I come pleading with you that you will hide me from the scene and that you allow the Holy Spirit to take over and that every word that I speak would not be mine but will be inspired of you because this is your word that I'm proclaiming from your word. The written word of God and I pray that you will open our eyes that you open ears that father we will be change men and women, boys and girls for Jesus sake, a man. There are three things here that loom large in this message that the resurrected Jesus Christ is speaking to the believers in the city of Pergamum, three things, taking notes, write them down first received Christ's diagnosis of the situation. Secondly, you see the resurrected Christ disappointment with his servants.
And thirdly, you see Christ's decision concerning the saints. Number one the great physician diagnoses the situation. Pergamum was about 100 miles north of Ephesus.
In fact, Smyrna was halfway between Ephesus and Pergamum and Newell see how it is almost a circle that a mailman who is delivering these messages would've been making a circle question Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum next week as he thought that a Sardis, Philadelphia, and then allowed to see almost a full circle. If you draw a circle around the city and so Smyrna was really about halfway between Ephesus and Pergamum. Pergamum was a city that was built on a hill. It was about thousand feet high above the plane.
Pergamum contained the second largest library in the world. It was second only to the great library of Alexandria in the library of Pergamum. There were more than 200,000 hand written volumes in that library.
More than that. Pergamum was the hole in the center of Emperor worship you see in other cities. Most of the worshipers of the Emperor.
They offered sacrifice to the Emperor once a year in Pergamum. It was once a day that you can figure that out for yourself of how incredible the pressure how intense the pressure for the believers to compromise and play games with their minds and their heads with their pagan neighbors. Just imagine being city of the temptation that were facing so here is that daily pressure and Jesus said I know I know the Lord Jesus said I know where you live is about seeing the movie so much that I know where you live. That's a threat him going to get done and is not that here Jesus not threatening them at all is that I know where you live, meaning I know your circumstances.
I know the difficulties that you're facing.
I know that constant temptation that you are under. I know you know where Satan has set his throne. I know your divorce thing lived I know the pressure that you are under anything is only beloved friend that is not a single pressure is not a single temptation.
There's not a single difficulty in your life that the Lord Jesus Christ does not know and does not understand and he sympathize with you and he's calling you to himself. He wants to give you the strength so that you can stay and he says to them is that I know we live.
I know you difficulties. I understand your circumstances. You never will and that's why the Lord Jesus Christ said to those people that center of Emperor worship.
He said I know I know I know I know it's so wonderful to the hope of the Lord Jesus Christ knows exactly what's bothering you today.
He knows exactly what frightens you today is exactly what is making you anxious today. He knows exactly what you are in this city was not only the center of Emperor worship. That would've been bad enough, but also it was the center of the worship of the God as Galapagos as Galapagos was the God of healing and he was depicted as a snake next summer here in the medical profession, your understanding Philip and emblems of pharmaceutical emblems in an medical emblem see the snake that is the God of healing that's as Galapagos is he that is ancient God of Pergamum and this imagery of a snake was a constant reminder for the believers of the devil. There was a constant reminder of the serpent in the garden of Eden, who is constantly want to lead them astray. In fact, in the temple of us Galapagos in the year in that town of Pergamum travelers. These poor people traveled from all over Asia minor and even Europe and they come all the way to the temple and on the floor of the temple there was a law of nonpoisonous snakes and these people come and they lie on the floor of the temple, hoping that the retouch going to go snakes I'm feeling. I can send us guys can spend those creatures and have them going to find out why they were created traveling this long distance to come to lie on the floor of the temple so that hopefully one of those snakes with Dr. because I thought that was healing but you see this is why does the throne of Satan. Because God is your home Roth IRA. God is our healer. But Satan says no I'm your healer, the snake, I'm the one who contact you in your review, and he was sending his phone and Pergamum against the throne of God and so these poor Christians who were living in Pergamum living under these difficult circumstances surrounded by all this intense pressure daily lingo electorally in the city that is Satan's throne. And yet in the midst of these difficulties in the midst of this intense pressure they remain faithful. The believers continue to hold onto biblical truth.
They continued to hold onto sound biblical doctrine.
They continued to hold fast to the name of Christ. They never denied their faith.
So much so that one of the leaders antipasto was monitored right before their own eyes and Jesus even mentions him by name. See the faithful believers in Pergamum remain true to the biblical convictions under some of the most difficult circumstances.
I wonder how we doing when we have we have it easy, comparatively speaking, that is why the resurrected Christ commends them for their essay. He didn't start by saying look is a problem. He started with praise. He started with commendation. He started by diagnosing the situation is okay you doing something right. And I'm glad hey this is this is great. I'm proud of you do exactly the right thing. Keep on doing it. Don't stop, don't flip and flop will change. Just stay where you are. But secondly, comes the disappointment the disappointment of the risen Lord Jesus Christ what was asked what was Jesus's disappointment now going to put it bluntly, so that you can understand it because this is the very sin that is dominating our culture today and unfortunately even those who love the Lord Jesus Christ inadvertently unknowingly fallen, and that sin.
What is it I want to give it to bluntly be ready for its amen weighing sure not being judgmental of others. That said, we should not be judgmental of the sin of otherness. After all, Jesus said Judge not lest you be judged with thirtysomething Jesus was talking about judging motivation. I have no right to judge anyone's motive. Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them and the whole Bible from cover to cover talks about judging sin, and so they were saying we shouldn't judge anybody. We shouldn't sit in judgment over the sinful lifestyle we shouldn't call sin. Soon we shouldn't call error error. We shouldn't do that we shouldn't call false teaching false teaching.
Last just keep our mouth shut because we don't want to be judgmental. I want to share with you something that I've learned through the years and by the way, I've learned the hard way.
There's nothing that I went was easy way. I don't know why but soon the Lord taketh through some tough times to motor to teaching some lessons. Maybe so I can share them with you and make your life easier is what I've learned through the years when a person says we should not judge sin. We should not sit in judgment of somebody else's sin or group of people sin that person is not judging sin in his or her own life now.
If you do not judge sin in your life and judge it in the life of others. The Bible call that hypocrisy. But the only judgment that anyone can have is the person who knows how to first judge sin in his own life and the apostle Paul) said we need to judge our own sin, lest we be judged. See you gotta start with yourself. I gotta start with myself.
You know when I'm getting ready to meet somebody to talk about an issue in the life, the Lord in heaven only knows I fast I pray I repent.
I go through a cleansing process.
I am conscious of my own sinfulness. I'm conscious of my own weaknesses and I've come to that person, not the arrogance but in brokenness and humility. Why, because the Lord taught me to judge sin in my life. First to examine my own heart and to bring sin in my life and the judgment first before I can talk about listen to me very carefully when ever you have an unconfessed sin.
Whenever you have a hidden sin whenever you have a sin that you are refusing to repent of and you are refusing to take it to the blood of Jesus Christ. You have no intention of judging somebody else because you worried lest your sin is judged. So we cover so we should be judging anybody so we shouldn't judge anybody sinful lifestyle recently judging anything we shouldn't be judging but beloved, when judgment of sin begins in my life that I'm only in a position to say this is what the word of God said that's what you doing in the two contradictory only the one who can call sin sin in his and her own life will be able to call sin.
Sin in somebody else's life. So what was going on in the church in Pergamum. There was a sin in the midst, and was breaking the heart of Jesus was not affecting their intellectual faith in Jesus Christ. It was not affecting the sound biblical doctrine. It was not affecting their belief in Christ, but the all seeing, all knowing, resurrected Lord Jesus Christ said I have a few things against you, and here it is you are winking at some in your midst, who are compromising the sin you are turning a blind eye to someone in your midst, who is teaching wrong and false teaching you are tolerating those in your midst, who are turning grace into life. Since the sin and Jesus that this kind of sin began with Baylor in the Old Testament book of Numbers chapter 2223 and 24.
And what Jesus is saying is what's available started in the Old Testament book of Numbers, Nicholas, who was one of the seven deacons in the book of acts elected to serve the church is continuing his perpetuating in the New Testament. It's a one and only sin has different drafts 2007, more than 2000 years apartments the same sin by levels of profit for higher Violet was a prophet who was willing to do anything for money by levels of prophet who was available to the highest bidder and sought when the king of Moab wanted to curse the children of Israel because there were going to go through his land to get into the promised land.
And he didn't want to come through so he set off on me, a prophet for higher I'm going to pay them a bunch of money and I'm going to ask him to curse the children of Israel, so he goes and offers as Gaia, money and dynamics of that money is of me. I know Lisa God's chosen people. I know the God promised to be taken to the promised land. But that's too much money to leave at the table and so he says okay I'll do it and he goes and then I start want to curse the people of his overzealous repair. He says bless that he can come out of his mouth every time he tries to person. He blesses him every time you try to cursive. It wasn't until his donkey talk to him for said New Delhi was a rough translation but that's what that means is a condition angle, stopping you surveillance it will high canteen of the Lord took control of my mouth and I can curse him every time I Try to consume a blessing. And what I do.
So he come up with a ingenious scheme to entice the children of Israel to sin and rebel against God to come to the king alloy sitting up King I got a deal for you because you got a lot of money right now because every time he wouldn't curse the king would up Danny more money, more money, more zeros into the check and so by that time his heart sold Dominican. I can walk away from the pilot – he said I got a deal for you king I tell you what you need to get your immoral women and send them over to the Israelites and they got entice Israelite men to commit immorality with them and that way you really destroy them. A diabolical diabolical prophet and you see that's why the resurrected Jesus Christ was mentioning him by me is diabolical because the most dangerous people are the people who are inside the church of Jesus Christ. The ones who claim the name of Jesus Christ. But then they teach falsehood they dangerous. The Bible says that we judge more severely than others and so God because of his righteousness, clicked his fingers and 24,000 Israelite men died on the spot because of the sin and saw what Baylon was in the Old Testament. Nicholas was in the New Testament.
False prophet false minister. So what is the Lord saying to them here. I place is what the Lord saying to you today is what the Lord saying to me today exactly what is saying to us is saying to all of us who afraid of being judgmental. Listen to me is what is saying being forewarned, being forewarned of growing sin in your life before one of a growing sin in the body is life before worn off sin you see when somebody tells you that you can't help but being addicted to pornography and they say to you, you don't need to repent. Because you cannot help in the grace of God is gonna convert. That's the sin of violin that is the sin of Nicholas when somebody tells you you can help with being homosexual.
You don't need to worry about in the grace of God is going to cover it all, you don't need to repent. That's the sin of management Nicholas if somebody tells you when you can help it. Breaking your marriage vows the grace of God is going to cover it all. Just keep going. That's the sin of Baylon my necklace when somebody says to you, you drunk, but you can help it. The grace of God will cover it all. Just keep going, don't repent the sin of Baylon in the present. I can go on forever. You know the rest of it. You know the rest of their were saying don't be a fanatic don't keep extremist.
Don't be a legalist. Albert judgmental is no be a fundamentalist. Don't be idealistic. After all, we all Jesus commends the church in Ephesus for their hatred to the sin of the neck and low chains not told when I preach from Ephesians a sermon to come that I will explain it in detail at Pergamum. That's why did today. Jesus said you hate that sin he said I do to. I hate that sin and what the Lord Jesus Christ hates the fair Ephesians hated what would the Lord Jesus Christ hated the church in Pergamum. The believers in Pergamum welcomed on the resurrected Christ said there is only one way to remedy sin there is only one way to remedy sin there is only one way to remedy sin you say will I cannot do this you can. That is one way to remedy sin. It is the blood of Jesus Christ. It is repentance. It is turning it is coming back to the Lord for forgiveness and for confession. You see, the remedy for sin is not to discuss it is not the excuse that is not the set was my father and my mother and my grandfather did that my anarchic this is is not to rationalize it does not explain it away and start bent over easy, God made away for the remedy of sin here in the gracious and merciful Lord Jesus gives them one more opportunity to turn to him one more opportunity and not been speaking to you and give you one more opportunity.
What would you do with it. What would you do with it that opportunities were never found again.
My never come back again is my plea with you that you receive it graciously and turn to him, because the Lord Jesus Christ goes on to tell them that they basically after choices, and all choices have consequences.
They said you have two choices choice number one. Do not repent of your sin. Continuing your sin.
Continue making the grace of God to be a license to sin, and in that case, the sword of the strip. The sword of my the sword of the word of God. The sword of judgment, the words of judgment are going to fall upon that sharp two-edged sword. Why, because Jesus will not allow falsehood to prevail in history church.
Jesus will allow the cancer of compromise to grow in his own church, the great physician. The all seeing physician has to operate like a hypothetical case that we looked at in the beginning of the message of this healthy young man who cannot see soon growing danger growing inside of him. There are so many Christians who are interested in whatever area of your sin is undergoing long for a month or two are nearer to two years, three years maybe 10 years and nothing happens and they begin to say to themselves, just like that young man, nothing is going to happen to me. Obviously God doesn't care about this. Obviously God doesn't worry about this.
Obviously, I'm okay. And then they began to rationalize that sin unknowing that it is because of the mercy and because of the patience of God and because of the long-suffering of God that nothing happened to you that nothing happened to me that because you could get away with it, but because of the patience of God.
It's incredible patience, and every time I kind of get angry with God by being patient with people that I wanted to get the agreement you know the Lord does reminds me that is been patient with me and I go back a subcellular size because you patient your long-suffering and I'm grateful for that.
And so should you don't do what the apostle Paul says that the Romans he said, don't confuse his patients don't confuse his long-suffering, don't confuse the fact that he doesn't judge you immediately for weakness on his part or acquiescence on his partner.
He is wooing you is calling his pleading with you. He speaks to you through his word is fixtures for friends speak strips for preachers is picking up small group leadership speaks to use trips on the schoolteacher's speaks to you. Then he said if you choose to repent. If you make that choice in turn and come and ask for forgiveness. You have two rewards the hidden manna and a white stone what they you remember in the book of Exodus is the people of God come out of the slavery of Egypt and ended up in the wilderness and there was no food. There was nobody there was God have to provide food for them. The food of heaven the foot of angels. He provided them with manna from heaven there wake up every morning under terrain food so they take it and needed for the rest of the day. Every morning new mercies I see every morning and he said if you hoard it.
If you hide it is going to become beautification right in your hand. Why does God want them to be dependent on him every single day and so before they got into the promised land.
God said get a jar and get some of that manna and see within a jar in the ark of the covenant where the 10 Commandments Will Pl. us a place that jar that's what's called the hidden manna in order to remind him of the mercies of God to remind him of of the intervention of God in history in the last and of course that was a shadow of the bread of life. The Lord Jesus Christ that hidden manna is not other than the bread of life.
The Lord Jesus Christ is saying that when you repent of your sin when you judge your sin when you come in repentance when he come clean with God is going to give no less, than the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
What about the white stone the athletes to clean that town understood for every winning athlete he wins when he gets a victory he receives a white stone with his name written on it.
I was very prized possession. What is Jesus saying he's saying. For every winning victorious non-compromising child of mine going to give them a stone but not just the name written on it a new name is going to be written on it is a wine you name you have to have a new identity. When God called people into a special ministry to change her name so Abram became Abraham and Jacob become Israel and Cephas became Peter and Saul become Paul as an indication of a new identity in Christ you have a spiritual name you will have a new name you have a name that the Lord Jesus Christ has given you in the usual and he are the only two people who know it, you gonna give it to you engraved on the cornerstone, the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Father, I'm amazed at your patience. Am amazed at your grace am amazed of your perseverance with me. All and all Lord Jesus that you did not strike me and strike any of us the moment we got away from you and we thought we could get away with it. Father, I bless your holy name, but all got our Prius with the part of the Holy Spirit that our eyes be open this very moment that our ears will be open at this very moment that we realize that your patience and your perseverance will have a limit and that we may walk in light, water, the student day father I pray you taught your people. You know the hearts we don't even our own hearts. But you know if Lord Jesus. And so I ask in the name of Jesus that you will come through the Holy Spirit visit every trembling heart every repentant heart. Receive our repentance for pray in Jesus name in all of God's people said a man. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael use that recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that LTW.or