Sermons

Summary: CHURCHES MUST BE ON GUARD AGAINST THE MODERN DAY INFLUX OF UNBIBLICAL DOCTRINE THAT CAN INVADE IT'S WALLS.

A CLEANSED CHURCH

REVELATION 2:18-29

THIS IS THE FOURTH OF SEVEN MESSAGES THAT JESUS GIVES TO SEVEN CHURCHES IN THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF WHAT IS NOW TURKEY. EACH OF THESE CHURCHES HAS A PARTICULAR CHARACTERISTIC THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO OUR CHURCH TODAY FOR IT’S ADVANCEMENT.

EPHESUS WAS A LARGE ACTIVE CHURCH, WEATHERED BY TRIALS AND WELL TAUGHT, SO THAT IT HAD THE APPEARANCE OF BEING HEALTHY. BUT IT’S ACTIVITY WAS FOR ITS OWN GLORY. IT HAD LOST ITS DESIRE TO PLEASE GOD AND SO IT WAS UNHEALTHY.

SMYRNA WAS A SMALL PERSECUTED CHURCH. THE BIBLE CALLS IT A “CRUSHED” CHURCH AND ALSO A “CROWNED” CHURCH. THEY FACED PRESSURE, POVERTY AND PUTDOWNS BUT THEY FAITHFULLY PERSEVERED.

PERGAMUM WAS A COMPROMISING CHURCH. IT WAS A CHURCH THAT DANGEROUSLY TOLERATED SATAN’S PRESENCE.

WE LEARN FROM THESE CHURCHES TO BE FAITHFUL, AND UNCOMPROMISING IN OUR WALK WITH THE LORD AND THAT BY FAITHFULLY WALKING WITH GOD WE WILL NOT LOSE THAT INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WE CAN HAVE WITH HIM.

NOW WE COME TO THE FOURTH OF SEVEN CHURCHES. THE LETTER TO THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA IS THE LONGEST OF ALL THE LETTERS TO THE CHURCHES. THIS IS STRANGE BECAUSE OF ALL THE CHURCHES THYATIRA IS THE LEAST IMPORTANT OF THE CHURCHES.

THYATIRA SERVED MILITARILY AS A DEFENCE FOR PERGAMUM, THE CAPTIAL CITY. A GARRISON OF ROMAN SOLDIERS WAS THERE AND THEIR MAIN DUTY WAS TO DELAY INVADERS LONG ENOUGH FOR PERGAMUM TO BE PREPARED FOR THE COMING ATTACK. IT WAS LOCATED IN A VALLEY WITH NO NATURAL DEFENCES. IF YOU WANTED TO ATTACK THE CAPITAL, YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH THEM FIRST.

IT WAS NOT A LARGE CITY, BUT IT WAS A THRIVING CITY OF MERCHANTS AND MANUFACTURERS OF EVERY KIND, AND IN THE CITY WERE MANY GUILDS, WHAT WE WOULD CALL TODAY UNIONS. THEY INCLUDED:

A) POTTER’S GUILD

B) TANNERS GUILD

C) WEAVER’S GUILD

D) ROBE MAKER’S GUILD

E) DYER’S GUILD

THYATIRA WAS THE HOME OF A LOCAL GOD, APOLLO TYRIMNUS WHICH WAS THE PATRON GOD OF THE GUILDS AND HONORED AT THEIR SOCIAL GATHERINGS. THE GUILDS WERE LARGE AND POWERFUL AND IF YOU DID NOT TAKE PARTY IN THEIR SOCIAL GATHERINGS YOU COULD LOSE YOUR ECONOMIC SECURITY.

LET’S LOOK AT THE PASSAGE:

REVELATION 2:18: 18 “TO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH IN THYATIRA WRITE: THESE ARE THE WORDS OF THE SON OF GOD, WHOSE EYES ARE LIKE BLAZING FIRE AND WHOSE FEET ARE LIKE BURNISHED BRONZE

THIS IS A VERY AUTHORITATIVE INTRODUCTION TO THE CHURCH. JESUS REFERS TO HIMSELF AS “THE SON OF GOD”, AND IT IS AN INTRODUCTION OF AUTHORITY. HE WANTS THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA TO KNOW THE POWER THAT HE HAS.

WE NEED TO BE REMINDED AT TIMES OF WHO IT IS WE COME TO WORSHIP AT CHURCH. WE ARE COMING INTO THE PRESENCE OF THE GREAT CREATOR, THE AUTHOR AND SUSTAINER OF OUR FAITH. IF WE WOULD BOW IN RECOGNITION IF ROYALTY WERE TO COME IN HERE, HOW MUCH MORE REVERENT SHOULD WE BE AS WE GO INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD.

HE THEN STRENGTHENS HIS INTRODUCTION FURTHER BY STATING “WHOSE EYES ARE LIKE BLAZING FIRE AND WHOSE FEET ARE LIKE BURNISHED BRONZE”.

THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO WHEN THEY LOOK AT YOU, MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE THEY CAN SEE RIGHT INTO YOUR VERY SOUL. YOU JUST CAN’T HIDE ANYTHING FROM THEM. JESUS IS TELLING US THAT THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN HIDE FROM HIM. HE NOT ONLY KNOWS WHAT WE DO, HE KNOWS OUR VERY THOUGHTS. THE SCARY PART OF THIS IS THAT HE WILL HOLD US RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT WE SAY AND WHAT WE DO.

IT’S EASIER TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR THOUGHTS WHEN IN CHURCH. WE SING HYMNS, READ BIBLE PASSAGES, HEAR THE MESSAGE, AND OUR THOUGHTS ARE TAKEN UP IN GOD. BUT GOD KNOWS OUR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK.

REVELATION 2:23: THEN ALL THE CHURCHES WILL KNOW THAT I AM HE WHO SEARCHES HEARTS AND MINDS, AND I WILL REPAY EACH OF YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR DEEDS.

BRONZE WAS SYMBOLIC OF JUDGMENT, AND THE BRONZE FEET SYMBOLIZE GODS STRENGTH AND STAYING POWER. THYATIRA WAS KNOWN FOR THE BRASS ARMOR MADE THERE. THE MESSAGE OF VERSE 1 IS CLEAR. YOU CAN’T HIDE ANYTHING FROM GOD’S BLAZING EYES, AND HE WILL PUNISH WHAT IS WRONG OR SINFUL. THIS WAS THE MESSGE TO THYATIRA, AND IT IS THE MESSAGE TO US TODAY.

JESUS THEN COMMENDS THEM AND TELLS THEM WHAT IS RIGHT IN THE CHURCH IN V. 19.

REVELATION 2:19: I KNOW YOUR DEEDS, YOUR LOVE AND FAITH, YOUR SERVICE AND PERSEVERANCE, AND THAT YOU ARE NOW DOING MORE THAN YOU DID AT FIRST.

JESUS COMMENDS THE CHURCH FOR FOUR THINGS:

1. LOVE: THE LOVE IN THIS CHURCH WAS UNCONDITIONAL OR AGAPE LOVE. IT WAS A SELFLESS, SELF-GIVING LOVE THE WAY THAT A CHURCH SHOULD BE. IT CAN ONLY BE PUT IN YOUR HEART AND PRODUCED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. THIS AGAPE LOVE IS WAY THE WORLD WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN AND THAT THE CHURCH IS IN TUNE WITH CHRIST.

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