The church in Thyatira was similar to the Pergamum church in that both had their strengths and shortcomings. Today we’re going to go over what Christ had to say tothis church and see how his message can apply to our lives.
The church in Thyatira
Christ begins by admonishing the church. He tells them that what they’re doing now is even better than what they were doing when they started out. But like the Pergamum church they have allowed a false teacher to creep into their midst.
Jesus identifies this false teacher as “Jezebel” (probably symbolic like “Balam”). “Jezebel” has been teaching the members of the church to engage in sexual immorality. This is where the derogatory nature of the term “Jezebel” comes from.
Christ tells the church that they are to watch out because he is about to throw down on Jezebel and everyone that has been following her in her false teaching and sexual immorality.
For those who aren’t following the adulteress, Christ tells them to remain steadfast in their perseverance. In every letter to the seven churches he tells them that the ones who overcome will receive some sort of reward. This letter contains the highest reward (in my opinion) and it involves ruling over the nations and receiving the morning star. Even if those are symbolic rewards they must symbolize some pretty epic rewards.
So what does this mean for us?
Much like the church in yesterday’s post the church in this letter is dealing with following false teaching. If we were to take a brief survey of what all is being taught in churches today we must admit some of it has to be false because a lot of it out right contradicts itself.
Before we start accusing each other of being Jezebels and false teachers we need to remember that some teachings can be, in a sense, contradictory and still be evangelical. For instance, Calvinism and Arminianism do not gel but neither side would call each other (not anymore anyways) a “false teacher.”
There are some points of doctrine that we cannot be certain of 100%. Or at least we can be certain of it but still allow for people to disagree. Both Calvinists and Arminians still agree on the essentials: Christ died for us and rose from the grave and we have to believe in his resurrection to be saved.
However the times are always changing and we need to be able to hold on to the essentials as the changes in our culture come our way. We need to be able to contextualize (put it in present day terms) our faith without compromising the integrity of it.
Have you learned to do as Paul commanded the Ephesians and speak “the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15)? Or are you erring on one side or the other: speaking the truth without mercy or showing love without sharing life liberating truth? I’m still learning to walk the tightrope and more often than not fall on one side or the other.
As always let me know what you think of today’s post in the comments below. If you have anything you want to see me write about feel free to contact me and let me know.