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7 Churches: Thyatira

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Intro

Revelation 2:18–29 CSB
“Write to the angel of the church in Thyatira: Thus says the Son of God, the one whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like fine bronze: I know your works—your love, faithfulness, service, and endurance. I know that your last works are greater than the first. But I have this against you: You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. Look, I will throw her into a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her into great affliction. Unless they repent of her works, I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who examines minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works. I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who haven’t known “the so-called secrets of Satan”—as they say—I am not putting any other burden on you. Only hold on to what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works to the end: I will give him authority over the nations— and he will rule them with an iron scepter; he will shatter them like pottery— just as I have received this from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
From the beginning of the church at Pentecost to the writing of Revelation, 60 years have passed.
It does not take a long time for “mission creep” to set in.
“Mission creep is the expansion of a project or mission beyond its original goals, often after initial successes. Mission creep is usually considered undesirable due to the dangerous path of each success breeding more ambitious attempts, only stopping when a final, often catastrophic, failure occurs.”

I. Love, Faith and Endurance.

Last works are greater than the first.

II. The desire to compromise.

Jezebel
Romans 7:15–20 CSB
For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me.
Sexual Immorality
Eating food offered in sacrifice to other gods.
Even in the early church the greatest danger was fighting against pluralism.
“For some people today tolerance is the only real virtue and intolerance the only vice.”
1 Corinthians 6:12–20 CSB
“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will do away with both of them. However, the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? So should I take a part of Christ’s body and make it part of a prostitute? Absolutely not! Don’t you know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For Scripture says, The two will become one flesh. But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. Flee sexual immorality! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.
1 Corinthians 10:23 CSB
“Everything is permissible,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up.
1 Corinthians 8:13 CSB
Therefore, if food causes my brother or sister to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won’t cause my brother or sister to fall.
In spite of compromise there is a call to perseverance
Why do I strive towards holiness?
Matthew 5:14–16 CSB
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14 CSB
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.
1 Peter 1:13–16 CSB
Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.

III. Churches should learn from other Churches.

Christ was going to make an example of the church of Thyatira
Man’s opinions do not matter as much as would like to think.
1 Samuel 15:22 CSB
Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
When we are obedient, God is pleased
Hosea 6:6 CSB
For I desire faithful love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
God alone judges.
The heart
The Mind
James 4:12 CSB
There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
The removing of lampstands was important for the entire church community, lessens can be learned from closing churches.

Application

Return to mission creep.
Fight against pluralism
“What kind of heavenly father would send his own son to the cross if the plan of salvation was multiple choice.”
Galations 2:21
Galatians 2:21 CSB
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
Why would millions of people over the centuries be willing to die to perpetuate a lie?
The hardest thing in life is continuing to do the right thing when the rest of the world is following their own fleshly desires.
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