With twelve (12) verses, this letter to the church of Thyatira is the longest of the seven written to the churches.
Background: A city specialized in dyeing. Lydia, the purple seller (Acts 16:14) came from there and people primarily worshiped the sun god (Apollo) there.
Who is addressing the church?
The Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze (vs. 18).
- The Son of God represents authority;
- Eyes like blazing fire represents His ability to see through all that we do, no matter how much we attempt to hide them;
- Feet like bronze represents judgement
- “…your love and faith,
- your service and perseverance,
- and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” (vs. 19).
Can the Lord make this kind of commendation concerning you and I, the church of today?
- “… You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. Jezebel murderer and idolater (1 Kings 21)
- By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality (vs. 20)
- and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (vs. 20)
I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.” (vs. 21)
“Ephesus was strong in doctrine but lacked love. Thyatira was strong in love but weak in doctrine. They weren’t willing to disagree with anyone about doctrinal heresies.
One person has said:
“It’s common for churches to be polarized in one of these two extremes. Either they will have full heads and empty hearts, or full hearts and empty minds. Either polarization is deadly. God demands both love and sound doctrine” (see 1 Timothy 1:5).
Table salt is a compound, a mixture of two elements: sodium and chloride. Both of these elements are poisonous by themselves. Sodium, an alkali metal, can be explosive if added to water, and chlorine is by itself a highly poisonous gas. If you ingest either sodium or chloride alone, you will die. But if you put them together properly, they become sodium chloride: common table salt.
So too, doctrine and love must be found together. One without the other can lead to a dangerous imbalance. But combined they provide flavor and health to the body of Christ.”
As the church in Ephesus was commended for not tolerating the wicked ones, can God commend us also, or will He convict us of tolerating wickedness. We need God’s mercy and repentance.
- “So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and (vs. 22)
- I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. (vs. 22)
- I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and (vs. 23)
- I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” (vs. 23) Jezebel died shamelessly (2 Kings 9:30-37)
The Way Out:
- “… do not hold to her teaching”
- “do not learn Satan’s so-called deep secrets” (vs. 24);
- “hold on to what you have until I come.’” (vs. 25)
Promises for the repentant or the steadfast: “26 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end,
- I will give authority over the nations— 27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father.
- 28 I will also give that one the morning star. 29 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Possible things that could amount to sinful tolerance
- Desire for fit in with the world
- Failure to call sin a sin (nowadays referring to sin as “struggle” or “being different”
- Failure to stand for the truth