Summary: Number 4 in series: Thyatira "The Letters to the Seven Churches"
# 4 in series: The Letters to the Seven Churches
From the pulpit of Bayview Baptist Church, June 3, 2001
“Is Bayview Baptist Church Similar to Thyatira Baptist?”
The city of Thyatira in Asia Minor was not an important city of Asia, being not religious or political, but instead a center of trade.
Thyatira was on a city on the road from Pergamos to Sardis.
This city was given the name Thyatira by Seleucus Nicator sometime between the years 301 and 281 B.C. when Seleucus colonized the city with Greeks.
Among the various skills such as carpentry and masonry, the skill of dying Purple cloth was what made the city famous and was one of the main commodities of trade in Thyatira.
The city of Thyatira was not an important city of Asia, being not religious or political, but instead a center of trade.
Unlike many of the other cities mentioned in Revelation, only traces of the existence of the city of Thyatira remain today.
Lydia, the woman the Apostle Paul converted to Christianity at Philippi was from the city of Thyatira, which is of the province of Lydia.
Of course, we remember Lydia as a woman who made her living by selling purple dyed goods.
She was a worshiper of God before Paul arrived at Philippi, but Lydia received the gospel of Christ and asked Jesus to become her personal Savior and Lord under Paul’s guidance.
Lydia was Paul’s first convert in Macedonia and the Continent of Europe, and at her urgent invitation, Paul and his missionary associates were guests at Lydia’s home.
Then later, when Paul and Silas were releases from one of their prison crusades, of which they had been consigned after a riot of which they were the innocent cause, they returned to the home of Lydia and were her guests once again.
Thyatira means sacrifice of labor.
The commendations for the church at Thyatira are: deeds, love and faith, service and perseverance, and “you are now doing more than you did at first.”
1. The church was noted for its good works.
Works are credentials of real believers.
2. Their manifestation of love and patient endurance of faith had steadily increased and had not grown cold like the church at Ephesus.
Love and faith are the main springs that turn the hands of work.
3. Service is doing ministry.
4. Patience is endurance no matter how dark the world is.
The reproof for the church at Thyatira is that they tolerate the pagan doctrine of a false Jezebel
The Greek word for Jezebel is false teacher.
The criticism Christ had for the church is that there had arisen in the church a woman of whom Jezebel was the prototype.
You remember the story of King Ahab of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and his pagan queen Jezebel.
She loved to worship Baal and supported over 800 prophets of Baal financially and allowed them to eat at her table.
King Ahab claimed to love the truth, but he was blinded by his evil queen and did what she wanted him to do.
Jezebel, Ahab’s pagan queen, had supported idolatry, and this woman in the church at Thyatira was supporting teaching that was leading some away from the Christian faith.
Queen Jezebel and King Ahab was the basis for Dr. R. G. Lee’s most famous sermon entitled Payday Someday which he preached over 3,000 times during the course of his ministry.
I can still here him today preaching that wonderful sermon at Citidal Square Baptist Church, frail as he was in the early 1970’s in his late 80’s.
It would surprise you to know how many people who are members of a Southern Baptist church today believe they can get drunk, commit adultery, be dishonest in business and still go to heaven.
Christ’s words to these people are, “I will give you what your words deserve” (Rev. 2:23).
The person who feels safe in sin in anything but safe!
This false Jezebel claimed to be a prophetess, having special revelations from God which qualified her to be a teacher of authority.
The problem with the church was that the Thyatira Baptist Church tolerated this false Jezebel and refused to deal with her.
Christ said he gave her space to repent, but she repented not (verse 21).
God patiently dealt with her and gave her time to repent, but she did not repent.
So, God says He will deal with her.
“I will cast her on a bed of suffering…I will strike her children dead…(verses 22, 23).
Her children are those who joined with her in her false belief system
Instead of giving a list of demands for the Thyatira Baptist Church, Christ merely exhorts them to continue in their faithfulness of their Christian profession and keep the works of Christ Himself.