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To the Church at Thyatira

Thyatira was a city that buffered two larger regions.  It was an outpost city, a military garrison of whatever region was prominent.  It was also home to numerous guilds and trade groups.  More importantly though, it was the place where Christians gathered to follow God.
Our Lord introduces himself as the judge and the implementer of judgment.  His eyes are like a flame of fire and his feet are like burnished bronze.  The eyes see past drama, facade, and deception.  The feet tread upon every form of dysfunction and evil.  May we appreciate his lordship over the church…
Jesus commends this church for their love, faith, service, and faithfulness.  We have a church who gets out there, loves the people, and serves.  Jesus commends them for this.  They are doing better now then they were at the beginning!  These are good signs of growth and maturity.
However, there is a major problem.  This church, collectively, tolerates a false teacher/prophetess.  She has been warned and yet she persists in teaching others to eat meat offered to idols and commits fornication.  This is a problem.  Her followers are also culpable just as her non-followers are culpable in their passivity.  Jesus says that Jezebel has no further opportunity to repent, he will dispatch her.  Her followers will have one more opportunity to repent or he will retire them.  Aside from their toleration of Jezebel and her teaching, Jesus has no more words for the passive crowd.
We may think that Jesus isn’t showing much mercy.  This is untrue.  He has warned Jezebel in the past.  This isn’t the first time this has come up.  We need to remember too that the sin is severe and life-threatening.  It is life-threatening in the sense that if this church doesn’t confront this immorality she will lose her identity entirely in the sea of pagan culture.
The church today is fighting a battle against the inroads of sexual immorality too.  Same-sex marriage falsehoods are infiltrating the church and destroying her from without.  Complacency and disobedience will not save any church.  Purity in doctrine will lead to purity in practice.  Even so, love and service must be maintained.
Finally, Jesus promises to the one who overcomes that he/she will rule and reign with him.  To the victor goes the morning star!  If someone can hear what Jesus is saying, let him hear and respond.
What we are hearing Jesus say to the church is that unholy teaching and practice will not be tolerated.  The identity of the church is at stake.  If she doesn’t get this right she will forfeit everything including her unique status as the church.  We must go to battle in preserving sound doctrine.  It matters.

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