THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA
Why do we go through the seven churches of Asia in Revelation? We can see how churches have problems, and how God knows and sees every church; its strengths, weaknesses, and trials.
The church is the Lord’s. He paid for it with his own blood. He has the right to tell the church how to live and function in the world. Just as God did with his people Israel, he does the same with his church today. If we will be his people, we must learn to listen and do what he says! Our obedience is what shows our love for the Lord.
The letter to church at Thyatira, as with the other churches, begins with a description of Jesus. The description in each church emphasizes what problems and difficulties that each had, and emphasizes how the Lord is watching, knowing all that his people are doing. Each description is specifically addressed to the church’s problems, in the hope they will repent and come back to their first love.
In Revelation 2:18, Jesus is described as the one who has eyes like a flame of fire; and his feet like fine brass. This emphasizes that Jesus knows all about us; that he sees everything his people are doing. His “eyes with flame of fire” suggests the idea of judgment, and implicit in this idea is that they had time to repent. Jesus wants us with him; he pleaded with them (and us) to repent so that they could be with him.
Verse 19 emphasizes that God and Jesus knows their (and our) works, love, service, faith and patience. God knows everything about us; he knows where we stand, and he knows more about us than we know ourselves because he knows our hearts. He knows whether we are standing or not. He knows our works seen by men and not seen by men. He knows where we need to improve. He knows how his people need to change. He still loves and expects the best out of us even when we do not give him the best. What kind of works does Jesus see in your life? What about your love? It is easy to say we love God but is that really evident in our lives? Can people tell we love the Lord without us telling them?
How about our service to God? Let us always remember that service means more than just worshipping on Sundays! It means helping the sick, the needy, the downtrodden; in essence, showing the love of God to a world that does not know his love.
He knows our faith and our patience. Patience is one of those things with which we all struggle. We don’t like to have to go through trials to get patience, but it is something that we need for HIS glory, and for HIS honor. Patience suggests the idea of endurance. As children of God, we need to show endurance and patience when things do not go the way we know God wants. We must remember that God is still in control.
Thyatira had a problem with a false teacher by the name of Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess and taught and seduced God’s servants to sexual immorality. We remember the story of Jezebel in the Old Testament (1 Kings 16:29-21; her death is recorded in 2 Kings 9:30-31). Was her name actually Jezebel, or was this name being used to identify another woman who was like Jezebel? As we examined last week, the problem of sexual immorality was prevalent as well in the church at Pergamos, and both churches were being encouraged to engage in idol worship. Brethren, this shows us that churches can and are easily swayed by the world, resulting in sin in the church. Sins of lust and of the flesh appeals to man, and we must fight them in our thoughts and deeds daily. God gives her time to repent, and those who follow her teaching, just as God had given this Jezebel time to repent (as he no doubt did with the Jezebel of the Old Testament).
MORE NEXT WEEK!