Summary: We are all in need of improvement. These churches were in need of improvement 2000 years ago, and we are today. God made His complaints to them and we ought to listen so we don’t make the same mistakes.
Dealing w/God’s Complaints
We are all in need of improvement. These churches were in need of improvement 2000 years ago, and we are today. God made His complaints to them and we ought to listen so we don’t make the same mistakes.
Work and endurance without love. How is that?
What we do is important, but why we do what we do is more important!
First love: honeymoon type love
Look how far you have fallen; take stock, inventory
Turn back to God.
Then…Work as you did at the first
Greatest city of Asia Minor
1st temple to Imperial Cult
Temple to God of healing (Insignia of serpent like they use today in medical fields)
Nicolaitans like serpents.
Complaint: Tolerate Balaam-like people and Nicolaitans
Balaam: a prophet; his curse was turned to a blessing. But his advice led to idol worship & intermingling (24,000 died in judgment).
Church was worshipping Caesar to avoid suffering.
What are you putting in the place of God?
Commercial center; trade guilds, idolatry, immorality
Love, faith, service, patient endurance, but…
Complaint: Permit Jezebel to lead my servants astray.
Jezebel’s message: compromise with Roman religion and guilds so you don’t lose your job or lives.
Remedy: Hold tightly to what you have until I come.
Contrast between Ephesus/Thyatira
Eph: No love but strong in doctrine
Thyatira: Loved much but not strong in doctrine
Balance is key
Capitol; most important city
5 main roads intersecting; center for trade
Military center; 1,500 feet above the main road
Only a shadow of its former splendor
Like the city, the church looked alive, but…
Nature cult of Artemis: death and rebirth
Remedy: Wake up, strengthen what remains, go back to what you heard/believed at first, hold to it tightly and turn to me again.
Wake up: the citadel of this city was taken only twice during its history. Why were the enemies able to take it these two times? B/c the sentries failed. Perhaps they were sleeping?
In what ways do you need to wake up spiritually this coming year?
In what ways does our church need to wake up?
Between Hieropolis (hot springs) and Colossae (cold springs)
Complaint: Neither hot nor cold
Remedy: Buy from me gold, white garments, ointment.
Like the disciples on the way to Emmaus, we need our hearts warmed.
Gold: purified by fire (does this mean suffering?)
Suffering refines us
Like the goldsmith, while God is purifying us, He never takes His eye off us.
White garment: this city was known for wool manufacturing but not white garments. We can only buy this type of garment from God.
Blind: manufactured eye salve in this area
See John 9
Conclude: Knocking on the door of your heart to see if you will let Him in (Revelation 3:20)
Pastor Vinnie Cappetta
Cornerstone Community Church