Summary: A Look at the Church of Thyatira that reminds us not to tolerate sin.
(Robert Leroe, SC.com) President Calvin Coolidge went to church, and afterwards was asked by a friend what the minister spoke on. “He preached on sin.” The friend asked what the preacher had to say about sin, and was told, “He’s against it.”
Yes, I’m going to preach about sin today. And yes, I’m against it.
Today’s sin is perhaps the most subtle and yet the most dangerous sin of all.
Today is our 4th message on the Letters to the Churches in Revelation. (Turn there).
Ephesus – Don’t lose your first love. Smyrna – Don’t give up.
Pergamum – Don’t compromise your faith. Thyatira – Don’t tolerate sin.
I. THE CITY
Thyatira was a small city between Pergamum and Laodicea in modern Turkey.
Militarily, it wasn’t capable of any prolonged defense.
It was a speed bump for the capital of Pergamum to give them time to prepare for battle.
Thus, the city had a history of regular destruction and rebuilding.
Since it wasn’t a military or political city, its importance was found in its industry.
•It was a blue collar town; color dyeing, garment-making, pottery and brass-working.
Lydia, the ‘seller of purple’ whom Paul met at Philippi (Acts 16:14), was probably the overseas agent of a Thyatiran manufacturer.
Christians were often forced to compromise in order to make a living there.
It was fine if you were a liberal, but very difficult if you were a conservative (cf. America).
II. THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
18THESE ARE THE WORDS OF THE SON OF GOD, WHOSE EYES ARE LIKE BLAZING FIRE AND WHOSE FEET ARE LIKE BURNISHED BRONZE.
This is the only time Jesus reveals Himself as "the Son of God” in Rev..
This church is in trouble, so He speaks to them in His most powerful capacity.
Illus. Have you ever gotten “the look” from your parents/spouse?
•The one that says, “Boy are you in trouble.” That’s the look Jesus gives here.
His feet of burnished bronze is very relevant to a city renowned for its brass-works.
It’s a picture of God’s judgment and wrath.
Rev. 19:11-16 I SAW HEAVEN STANDING OPEN AND THERE BEFORE ME WAS A WHITE HORSE, WHOSE RIDER IS CALLED FAITHFUL AND TRUE. WITH JUSTICE HE JUDGES AND MAKES WAR. 12 HIS EYES ARE LIKE BLAZING FIRE, AND ON HIS HEAD ARE MANY CROWNS… 13 HE IS DRESSED IN A ROBE DIPPED IN BLOOD, AND HIS NAME IS THE WORD OF GOD… 15 OUT OF HIS MOUTH COMES A SHARP SWORD WITH WHICH TO STRIKE DOWN THE NATIONS. “HE WILL RULE THEM WITH AN IRON SCEPTER.” HE TREADS THE WINEPRESS OF THE FURY OF THE WRATH OF GOD ALMIGHTY. 16 ON HIS ROBE AND ON HIS THIGH HE HAS THIS NAME WRITTEN: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of Almighty God!
III. THE COMMENDATION
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.
They’re not all bad. In fact, they were growing and doing more than at first.
This is an important verse. We, too, need to be doing more now than we did at first.
IV. THE CONDEMNATION
20 NEVERTHELESS, I HAVE THIS AGAINST YOU: YOU TOLERATE THAT WOMAN JEZEBEL…
A. Who is Jezebel?
Her name was not really Jezebel. That was simply God’s nickname for her.
The original Jezebel was a vile pagan who forced Israel to worship Baal (see 1-2 Kings).
•She was an idolater, a conniver, and a murderer.
•She was so vile that when she died, she literally went to the dogs (2 Kings 9).
•She was without a doubt the most wicked woman recorded in Scripture.
This woman in Thyatira may have claimed to be a godly leader, but God revealed her true heart. It was not a nice comparison.
B. What was her sin?
First of all, she calls herself a prophetess – not necessarily that she was one.
BY HER TEACHING SHE MISLEADS MY SERVANTS INTO SEXUAL IMMORALITY AND THE EATING OF FOOD SACRIFICED TO IDOLS.
She deceived the believers (God’s own servants) and led them astray!
SEXUAL IMMORALITY - Any sexual act or thought occurring outside the bounds of marriage.
It could also figuratively mean practicing idolatry—spiritual immorality.
When we put anything before God, we in effect commit spiritual immorality.
This woman was teaching the believers that this sin was okay!
•She was like the Nicolaitans and Balaamites in Pergamum (Rev. 2:12-17).
She professed to be a messenger of God, yet promoted a message of Satan.
She professed faith, yet promoted sin. She professed Christian liberty, yet taught license.
C. What was the church’s sin?
1. They permitted it.
20 YOU TOLERATE THAT WOMAN JEZEBEL… Tolerate – the key word to the passage.