Sermons

Summary: Christ calls the Church in Thyatira and all those who bear His name to Turn from their Sin or face His judgment.

The Presbyterian Church leadership of Canada set up a commission last year and named it the "Rainbow Communion," with the intent of researching the idea of having the church officially and publicly repent for what some called its sins against the LGBTQ community. To the average non-Christian the creation of a "Rainbow Communion" might seem on its face to be rather innocuous in nature, but this is only true because people today are so used to seeing the LGBTQ community draping itself in the rainbow flag. But within the Judeo-Christian religious tradition, the rainbow has served as one of its most important and enduring symbols for several thousand years. The rainbow was not an arbitrary symbol chosen by church leaders to celebrate sexual diversity, quite the contrary is true; the rainbow became a symbol for the church because God had flooded the world in order to rid it of the debauched "wickedness of man" whose thoughts were on "evil continually." In it written in Genesis 9, that after flooding the world to cleanse it of this evil, the rainbow was decreed by God to be a symbol of a covenant between Himself, humanity and all livings things that He would never again destroy the world by flood (Genesis 9:8-13). Now intelligent people know that symbols and symbolic acts have real psychological power, and thus this surrendering of God's symbol to the LGBTQ community must be regarded as a shocking submission to a community that has, for the most part, little love for Christianity, and which at one point, in the guise of the Gay Liberation Front, had vowed to destroy the church completely. (https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/major-canadian-church-abandons-the-gospel-to-appease-lgbtq-lobby)

Despite the clear biblical teaching to the contrary, churches throughout history have tolerated sin, following a pattern like the Thyatiran congregation in Revelation 2, whose members were engaging in both spiritual and physical adultery. Through the insidious efforts of a false teacher, those sins had become pervasive in this congregation. The letter Christ addressed to its members was a sobering one, and marks a new phase in the letters to the seven churches. The letter to the church in Thyatira begins the second group of messages to the churches of Asia. (The Seven Churches of Asia Minor Slide) In the first group, the church of Ephesus was characterized by loyalty to Christ which was lacking in love. In the church of Smyrna loyalty was tested by fire. In the church of Pergamum the loyalty was lacking in moral passion. Yet all three churches were true to the faith, and had not yielded to the assaults of evil. “In the case of the church at Thyatira, as of the churches in Sardis and Laodicea, the situation was far more serious. Here not merely a small minority was indifferent, but large numbers had actually yielded to the demoralizing influences of false teaching. There is a progressive worsening in the character of these seven churches, as they depict becoming more and more influenced by evil. That downward spiral reached its lowest point at Laodicea. (Charles Erdman. The Revelation of John [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966], 56)

The letter to the church in Thyatiran found in Revelation 2:18-29 is the longest of the seven, though addressed to the church in the smallest of the seven cities. It has an important message for the church today: false doctrine and sin are not to be allowed—even under the banner of a false understanding of love, toleration, and unity. There may be much that is commendable in a church. It may appear on the surface to have an effective ministry, be growing numerically, pleasant and even well regarded by the community. Yet immorality and false doctrine, if not confronted, will bring judgment from the Lord of the church. Christ calls the Church in Thyatira and all those who bear His name to Turn from their Sin or face His judgment. With this command, the letter to the Church in Thyatira presents 1) The Church, City and Correspondent and Commendation (Revelation 2:18-19), 2) The Concern (Revelation 2:20–23) finally 3) The Command and Counsel (Revelation 2:24-29).

Christ calls the Church in Thyatira and all those who bear His name to Turn from their Sin as seen through:

1) The Church, City, Correspondent and Commendation (Revelation 2:18-19)

Revelation 2:18-19 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. 19‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first (ESV)

As is the case with the churches at Smyrna and Pergamum, the Bible does not record the founding of the Church at Thyatira. According to Acts 16:14, “A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God,” was converted under Paul’s ministry at Philippi. Verse 15 records that members of her household also came to saving faith in Christ and were baptized. It is possible that Lydia and her household participated in starting the church at Thyatira. It has been suggested that some of Paul’s converts at Ephesus went out and evangelized Thyatira (Acts 19:10).( Johnson, A. F. (1981). Revelation. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews through Revelation (Vol. 12, p. 443). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.)

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