2005-06-16 - Letter To the Church in Thyatira
The Seven Churches, Part 5 - Thyatira
"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25 Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations 27 'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery' [b] just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Rev 2:18 NASB)
So what was the Spirit saying to our Christian brothers and sisters in Thyratira? The good news was that they had perservered in their faith, and those weren't easy days to persevere. They had, to coin a phrase from the 60s, "kept on truckin'." How well do we persevere?
Do we tend to turn on God, put distance between ourselves and Him, when we are hurt deeply or face something very trying? Or do we keep on praying and studying God's word and worshipping with His people, even when we don't feel like it? Nowhere in God's word does He excuse us from worship because we "don't feel like it" or we are going through a tough time. In fact, we need worship, service and fellowship all the more during this time. We are to worship God because of Who He is, not because things are going well for us. We are to be faithful to Him. For as Jesus Himself said, if we are not persevering, He will withdraw His blessings from us.
The bad news? Much like our society today (at least in the US), there seemed to be an epidemic of sexual immorality. Look around us. People live together before they marry. They cheat on spouses. We have movies and shows on television that flaunt almost every kind of sexual immorality imaginable.
Child pornography is more rampant than ever, and there is even an organization that celebrates sex between children and adults. God must be weeping over this.
Are we doing our part as God's ambassadors, to take a stand against all this immorality? Or do we wink at it, accepting it as normal or just quietly going along, not wanting to "rock the boat" or stand out from the crowd?
Sometimes we look down our nose at those who hold placards, who protest etc. Maybe their methods are ineffecient or questionable, but at least they are taking a stand on their convictions. What is our standard - God's word or the world?
I urge you to think and pray on these things, and what we as God's representatives need to be doing about them.