The Letter to the Church at Thyatira Revelation 2:18-29 The City of Thyatira Historically it was of no great importance. It was on the great trade rout from Pergamos (once the capital of Asia) to the south-east. Apollo was the principal deity, being worshiped as a sun god. According to Acts 16:14 it is the home of Lydia, the seller of purple who was converted by Paul. The Letter to Thyatira Address: To the Angel of the church in Thyatira Speaker: The Son of God: Who has eyes like a flame of fire. Thyatira was the only church to whom this description is given. It is a statement of His authority and supremacy. “Son” was a statement of equality, not of subordination as some would claim. Some speculation about the meaning of this description. But its meaning will be made clear in the letter. His feet like fine brass. Some uncertainty as to this meaning. Brass or bronze hooves were used to illustrate strength to trample enemies in Micah 4:13. In this letter Jesus will execute such judgment upon those who do not repent in vs. 22-23. What Was Right With the Church Works: Love: They were active, doing the works Christ had given them to do as the church. They were even growing in these works “the last are more than the first” (vs. 19). All churches should strive to grow this way (1 Thess. 4:1). Love is a necessary characteristic of God’s people. Without it we cannot be God’s people (1 John 4:8). Service: Their love was not in word only, but in deed (1 John 3:18). They did service for one another, cared for one another, ministered to one another, just as we all should do. What Was Right With the Church Faith: They had faith in Christ. In a city where the principle deity was a false god they kept their faith in the one true God and in the Savior, Jesus Christ. Patience: Their faith was combined with patience. For any Christian to keep their faith they need patience as they face ridicule and persecution from those who are in the world. It is evident that this church had patience by the fact that it continued to good, in spite of the challenges (1 Thess. 3:13). What Was Wrong With the Church In spite of their good qualities, there was something very wrong in this congregation. You allow: There was sin among only some of the members of this church. But all were in danger because the congregation as a whole ALLOWED those members to remain in their sins! Leaders in the church be impressed: Though sin may take place individually, if the members as a collective do not strive to cast out that sin then the body as a whole is in danger! (Josh.7:10ff; Ezek. 3:16-19; 1 Cor. 5:1-2, 5-6). What Was Wrong With the Church That woman Jezebel: Compared to Jezebel, wife of Ahab, who brought false gods from her home and cause many in Israel to commit spiritual adultery (1 Kg.16:31; 18:4). May be one woman who claimed that she spoke from God, may be an influence amongst them. Regardless, the point is expressed very clearly, there can be no doubt. There was some person or persons causing the people of God to compromise and mix with the idolatrous worship going on in that city (vs. 20). What Was Wrong With the Church To teach and seduce my servants. Regardless of a person’s background or claims of authority, the members of the church must examine all doctrine that is taught (1 Thess. 5:21). If anything is taught that is contrary to the word of God is must be stopped (Tit. 1:11). But this woman was allowed to continue her teaching! Will we? What Was Wrong With the Church Sexual immorality. She used her claim as a “prophetess” to swayed members to commit sexual immorality in accord with idolatrous worship. Will we follow someone’s teaching, simply because they teach what we want? Or will we seek the truth and reject all else? Eat things sacrificed to idols. Food, it and of itself, is harmless (1 Cor. 8:4, 10). But when we eat things sacrificed to idols we have fellowship with such, and we show the world our acceptance of those idols (1 Cor. 10:19-21). Warning I gave her time, but she did not repent. I will cast her into a sickbed. In spite of her sinfulness and error we see the patience of God. He does not wish any to perish. Even false teachers are allowed time to repent (Tit. 3:10). But God’s patience will only last so long. As one on her death bed. Literally, tribulation as punishment. Those who commit adultery with her. Just as when the blind lead the blind, they all fall into the pit. Unless they repent. Warning I will kill her children with death. God’s anger at those who had succumbed to her influence was so great that He would cause them to perish. Her children were those who followed her. The result: All the churches would know that Christ searches the minds and hearts: “eyes like flame of fire.” We may be able to convince ourselves that what we are doing is right—self-justification. But Christ knows our hearts; our motivations. Judgment will be rendered accordingly. Exhortation To the Rest: To those who have not followed after the woman Jezebel. “Hold fast what you have.” As seen, the congregation was doing great things. But the sin that existed among them threatened to ruin it all. Therefore they are exhorted to get rid of the sin from among them and hold fast to the good things which they had. All of God’s people must not grow weary in doing good, but hold fast with patience and endurance. Reward Power over the nations: Ps. 2:8-9 Echoes Old Testament language. Christ is reigning now in heaven, He has power over all nations. When Christ rules His people rule. But they rule through conduct, influence, and victory over sin. The word of God is like an unbending rod of iron. Morning star: may refer to the glory of Christ at His coming (Rev. 22:16), or the light we receive when we obey the gospel (2Pet. 1:19). Final Admonition He who has an ear to hear, let him hear. Christ speaks to all men, but only those who are willing to hear will benefit from it. The rewards promised by Christ are offered only to those who are willing, those who take heed to the things spoken. Are you willing to hear? An Urgent Lesson For Today Even in their abundance of good qualities, many stood condemned because they tolerated sin and error. What was the point Jesus was making to this church? STOP TOLERATING ERROR! If members are sinning or if people are teaching error it is up to those who see it to stop it dead in its tracks, lest they all be condemned.