Today we will read from Revelation Chapter 2 verses 18-29. This the letter that Jesus told Paul to write to the church at Thyatira. Thyatira was a working person’s town, with many trade guilds for cloth making, dyeing, and pottery. Lydia, Paul’s first convert in Philippi, was a merchant from Thyatira. The city was basically secular, with no focus on any particular religion.
The believers in Thyatira were commended for growing in good deeds. We should not only take comfort in gathering for worship or rejoice when people give their lives to Christ in our church. We should also seek to grow in love, faith, and acts of service. Because the times we are currently living in are critical, we must spend our days wisely and faithfully.
Let’s read today’s scripture….
“Write this letter to the messenger of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze: I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in these things. But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman – that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet – to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from immorality. Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from their evil deeds. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.
But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths’ as they call them – depths of Satan, actually) I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star! Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
A woman in the church at Thyatira was teaching that immorality was not a serious matter for believers. Her name may have been Jezebel, or John may have used the name Jezebel to symbolize the kind of evil she was promoting. Jezebel, a pagan queen of Israel, was considered the most evil woman who ever lived.
Why is sexual immorality so serious? Sex outside of marriage always hurts someone. It hurts God because it shows that we prefer to satisfy our desires our own way instead of according to His word or to satisfy them immediately instead of waiting for His timing. It hurts others because it violates the commitment so necessary in relationship. It hurts us because it often brings disease and adversely affects our personalities. Sexual immorality has tremendous power to destroy families, churches, and communities because it destroys the integrity on which these relationships are built. God wants to protect us from hurting ourselves and others; thus, we are to have no part in sexual immorality.
Ponder this… Sexual immorality is glorified in TV, Music and Movies. We now have a generation of young girls who do not understand their worth. A generation of young girls who so desperately just want to be loved and protected and use sex to try to get that, because it gets them attention. What happens in reality is that men (boys) use girls/women for sex and leave them to marry the girl who has morals and values, leaving so many young women broken with a feeling of worthlessness. It leaves a generation of single mothers who are struggling to make ends meet. And what about adultery? When has that EVER ended well? Someone, often times many people, get hurt. Children of divorce due to adultery have trust issues. Those who committed the adultery, and those who were cheated on, have trust issues and are unable to be in a healthy relationship. God’s original design was put into place for a reason. To spare us this hurt.
I rarely watch TV, but when I do I have to admit that I like the crime shows. You know, the real life crimes that are replayed out for you to follow along as they dig for clues to reveal the killer. I told my husband recently – 9 times out of 10 it always leads back to sex. Someone wants out of a marriage because they are sleeping with someone else. So they kill their spouse. Someone finds their spouse with someone else – so both are shot and killed. Or someone is a sexual predator – often due to sexual abuse in their past, or an obsession with pornography. Immorality is directly related to crimes of passion.
Jezebel was unwilling to repent. Repent means “to change one’s mind and turn from sin” and it’s disastrous consequences – and turn to God and eternal life. In his mercy, God has given us time to decide to follow him. Only our stubborn willfulness stands in the way. How about you? Have you decided to put down sin and pick up your cross and follow him?
**Note: Much of this study was taken from the Life Application Study Bible