The Corrupt Church
THE CORRUPT CHURCH-WHO TOLERATED SIN
Revelation 2:18-29 – Pastor Kenneth Brown 6/17/07
I believe that many in the church have forgotten or are unaware as to what God has called the church to be. God has called His church to be Holy and maintain purity by dealing with sin. I know that terms like holiness, purity, and sin are not popular terms in this generation. And many in the church who aware of sinful life styles are willing to compromise God’s standard of living holy for the sake of just having people fill up the pew from Sunday to Sunday. Did you know that Jesus Christ himself gave the very first instruction to the church on how to confront sin? In Matthew 18:15–17 Jesus commanded,
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
The purpose Jesus instituted church discipline in the church in order to maintain holiness among His followers was twofold: First it would cause sinning believers to repent and restore them back to righteous behavior, and secondly it would purge from the church those who stubbornly cling and embrace their sin.
Jesus cannot and will not accept any type of church. The church represents His bride and Jesus’ desire is to have a pure bride presented to Him at His glorious appearing. Eph. 5:27 Lets us know that Christ … loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
Today many churches are living like the church at Thyatira in that they are tolerating sin despite knowing what the bible says about it. And no wonder many churches are tolerating sin today for sin is not spoken against, consequences of sin is not taught, and people are only preaching and teaching what makes them and the people feel good.
We are living in a time where people are just looking for a motivational boost. They don’t want to be told how they should live according to the scriptures. No they want to know how they can feel good about themselves, how can they can have success now, and made to feel good about their immoral lifestyle. It is their belief that they should never be broke, never have problems, never get sick as long as they speak things into existence. And this is just not biblical.
This letter to the church at Thyatira is the longest of the seven letters. This letter is an important message to the churches today and that message is that false doctrine and sin cannot be tolerated. Somebody might be asking now pastor are we not suppose to open the door to the sinner? Yes we are but if they remain unchanged then that same door that led them in is the same door that has to lead them out!!
I. THE DESCRIPTION OF JESUS TO THE CHURCH
a. Each church that Jesus addresses He introduces Himself by giving a description of His character. Each description of His character is tied to the churches failure and need.
b. Here Jesus describes Himself as “the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass.”
i. Jesus emphasizes His deity as the Son of God which demonstrates that He is one in essence with the Father. Jesus wanted the church to know that He and God were equal and being equal with God who is the divine judge of this world Jesus has the right to judge as well. Here Jesus is establishing His authority over the church.
ii. As divine Son of God, Jesus has eyes like a flame of fire. These piercing, laser like eyes see all and nothing can be hidden, covered, or disguised from Him.
iii. John 2:24-25 “But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”
iv. You cannot get caught in thinking that you can go about doing what you want because nobody can see you. The one you should be concern with is the one who can see you and that is Jesus.
v. As divine Son of God, Jesus has feet like fine brass. Brass as I mentioned some time ago represents judgment. This brass would shine give off a reflection of anyone looking at it. And this symbolizes how our sin is seen and revealed to be judged.
vi. What a sobering thought, it is humbling to think that Jesus knows all of our hidden sin that we cannot hide or conceal anything from Jesus. What is more frightening is that Jesus stands ready to bring upon judgment on all those who remain in sin.
vii. I Peter 4:17 turn there for a moment: For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
viii. We have to commit our souls to Him in order to avoid His promise of judgment. Each day we must commit to live for Him in all that we do. As Peter says “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.” 2Pt. 3:14
1 John 2:28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. To abide means to continue live our lives so we will not be ashamed when arrives. Jesus is our compassionate loving savior but he also serves as a righteous judge. He alone knows the intents of our hearts and He desires that we who call ourselves Christians live our lives knowing that He sees and knows all and that we should live as though He might return at any moment.
II. The Church At Thyatira Unlike Pergamum or Smyrna, Thyatira was not an important religious center. The primary god worshiped by the Thyatirans was the Greek sun god, Apollo. The pressure faced by the Christians in Thyatira came from the guilds (like unions). To hold a job or run a business, it was necessary to be a member of a guild. Each guild had its patron deity, in whose honor feasts were held—complete with meat sacrificed to idols and sexual immorality. Christians faced the dilemma of attending those feasts or possibly losing their livelihood. How some in the Thyatira church were handling the situation caused the Lord Jesus Christ great concern.
III. THE CHURCH COMMENDATION 2:19
a. Jesus begins as He did with the other churches with a positive commendation before voicing His concerns about them.