Summary: This is about the letter to Thyatira.
There is a British comedy show called Keeping Up Appearances. (Give brief overview of the show.) Things aren’t always as they appear.
The middle church of the seven is a church where things weren’t as they appeared.
Read Revelation 2:18-29.
One thing that is fascinating about this letter is that of the seven it is the longest. Thyatira was the least significant city of the seven, whether economically, socially, politically, religiously or culturally. It was also likely the smallest of the seven churches, yet Jesus spends more time them. Smaller churches are important to Jesus. The vast majority of churches are small.
What do we see here about appearances?
· The Appearance of SUCCESS.
The initial praise would make it appear that this was a successful church. They were going great guns.
o They had WORKS.
Like the Ephesian church they were patted on the back for their works. They were busy doing this and that.
o They had LOVE.
In contrast to the Ephesian church, they had love. Without love, the work of the church is useless and counterproductive.
o They had FAITH.
Both love and faith drove their works. Paul said, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.” They had it.
o They had MINISTRY.
They were working for the church. They served their community. Soup kitchen? Clothes distribution? Who knows, but they had ministry going on. Their ministry was based in love, not guilt or obligation. They didn’t sit on their hands.
o They had ENDURANCE.
They endured. They survived. Persecution wasn’t as bad in Thyatira as in other places, but they hung in there.
o They had GROWTH.
All of their works, love, faith, ministry and endurance resulted in numerical growth. The church was on the upswing. While the Ephesian church was in decline, this church was going the opposite direction. Someone who would visit the church would say everything was hunky dory. But…
· The Reality of the SITUATION.
While the surface was great, a huge problem was lurking just beneath the surface.
o They had been DECEIVED.
A woman identified as a Jezebel was deceiving many of them and leading them astray. (Give a brief history of Queen J.)
She had taught them to be cozy with the ways of the world.
o They had COMPROMISED.
The result of the deception was compromise. When we don’t know what we believe, we will compromise our beliefs and morals.
This Jezebel had encouraged them to sell out their beliefs so as to be cozy with the world. In the Bible, especially the OT prophets, chasing after false gods and beliefs is seen as adultery and prostitution. They sold out for convenience.
o They had OPPORTUNITIES.
That is they had opportunities to repent. She had been given time to repent. This shows the grace of God and his patience. The KJV often translates patience as longsuffering. God’s wrath, while very real, is a longtime in coming. He waits for us to turn. He would rather us turn back to him than to punish.
· The Solution to the PROBLEM.
The solution is quite simple. We’ve seen it in the other letters.
o They had to REPENT.