Summary: The church started out well, but they allowed corruption to enter their ranks
Have you heard the story about the guy who fell in love with an opera singer? He hardly knew her; as a matter of fact his only view of her had been through his binoculars – from the third balcony. But he knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he could be happily married to someone who had a voice like hers.
He barely noticed that she was; well, much older than him. He hadn’t noticed that she walked with a limp. All he knew was that her soprano voice could take them through any difficulty they could ever have.
After a whirlwind ceremony, a rushed wedding ceremony, they were off on their honeymoon.
As she began to prepare for their first night together…his chin dropped. First she plucked out her glass eye, and then she unstrapped her fake leg, pulled off her wig, and removed her dentures. As she turned and smiled at him…horror shot threw his body…and he gasped with all his strength – FOR GOODNESS SAKE, SING WOMAN, SING, SING SING.
Things aren’t always as they appear.
This is the longest of the seven letters, and it is ironic that the longest letter is addressed to the smallest and least important of the seven cites.
This would make the church at Thyatira a small town church
The city was known for its manufacturing and trade guilds. Lydia (Acts 16:14) is from Thyatira. These trade guilds would all have their own religion and gods that they would follow.
If you were involved in a trade, you would belong to a guild and you would be expected to participate in the immoral activities of the guild as is worshipped its false gods.
In this setting we have the church at Thyatira. As we look at this letter we will see that on the outside, all is looking good, but things are not a good as they look on the outside. Isn’t this true of many churches today?
Let us see what the Lord has to say to the church in the small town.
I. A PICTURE OF THE LORD v.18
• Let us look at verse 18 to gain a picture of the Lord.
• SLIDE #4
• Revelation 2:18 (ESV) 18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
• WOW! The readers had better pay attention? Jesus is the ultimate authority!
• Each opening description of the Lord is meant for a specific purpose. In this opening description we read that Jesus has “eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze”. This description alludes to the fact that Jesus is all knowing and a picture of strength and splendor.
• The blazing eyes indicate the penetrating power of his vision; that He can see into the depths of our soul.
• The feet of bronze indicate strength for executing judgment.
• We can look good on the outside, but Jesus can see what we are really about.
• We are told that His word can cut right though to what we really are. (Hebrews 4:12)
• It is a scary thought, knowing that God can see us the way we really are.
• SLIDE #5
• Psalm 139:7-10 (ESV) 7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
• What goes on in the heart is no secret from God.
• Let us look at the Praise Jesus has for the church.
• SLIDE #6
II. PRAISE FOR THE CHURCH v.19
• Let’s turn to verse 19 to find out what the church was doing well.
• SLIDE #7
• Revelation 2:19 (ESV) 19 “ ‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.
• Jesus praises them for their deeds, which He will list.
• It is worth taking note that in Ephesians the church was told that they left their first love and was to return to it, here we find that the deeds that were being performed by the church were greater than the ones they did at first. This church appears to be a dynamic church.
• The church is being praised for the following deeds or works: