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Summary: We will seek to address the question: “how is a congregation to express and practice its faith in the midst of the genuine cultural challenges that it faces?”

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American Idols: Looking at Ourselves and Our Loyalties Through the Eyes of Jesus**

The Idol of Tolerance: Thyatira

Revelation 2:18-29

Sermon Objective: We will seek to address the question: “how is a congregation to express and practice its faith in the midst of the genuine cultural challenges that it faces?”

Supporting Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:16-17; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9

Series Intro

We began a series earlier this month called “American Idols: Looking at Ourselves and Our Loyalties Through the Eyes of Jesus”

There are two categories of idols:

{1} an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.

{2} any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.

Our concern is with the latter. There are a myriad of “things” which could be classified as an idol … they are limited only by the passions of the individual in question. But there are certain dispositions or demeanors that our culture serves and pursues as an end in themselves … they have become idolatrous.

What we discover in “The Revelation” is that they are not just limited to our culture but that others have also pursued these with “blind devotion”. We have looked at Ephesus’ fallacy of superiority and Smyrna’s temptation to shop for a more convenient faith, and Pergamum’s tendency towards compromise. Others will include:

• Leisure – The Church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) • Stoicism – The Church in Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) • Independence – The Church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22)

Today we will look at the church in Thyatira and the danger of “Tolerance”. It is found in Rev. 2:18-29.

Intro

Last week I received a call asking me about the podcasts of our sermons. The caller was having some problems listening to them. I helped him get it figured out but, in the process, I had to listen to a few seconds of a few of the sermons. I learned something while listening to those few seconds of a few sermons … I have an accent!

Who knew!?

As far as I was concerned I sounded just like “you’se guys” up here in the northeast but, lo and behold! I sound like someone from Oklahoma!

Now while that little discovery is humorous and relatively insignificant, it reminded me of what is happening in these messages to these churches … Jesus is helping each of them discover some things about themselves they did not know. However, whereas my accent does not require me to eliminate it in order to honor the Father, what Jesus is showing these churches (in most cases) is not only those things about them that he applauds but those things about themselves that are distancing them from Him.

They require response and reaction.

Thyatira:

On the inland route about forty-five miles due east of Pergamum was the city of Thyatira. It was located at a significant crossroads; it began as a military outpost to protect the afore-mentioned capital of Asia-Minor; Pergamum.

Although not a great city, it was nevertheless important through commerce in wool, linen, apparel, dyed stuffs, leatherwork, tanning, and excellent bronze work. In fact, it was conspicuous for having access to the natural materials necessary for manufacturing bronze; the artisans of the city became well known for making impressive weapons.


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