Pastor Tom Sawhook
Sunday, February 14, 2010
“CORRUPTION AT WORK”
(The Church at Thyratira)
TODAY WE'LL BE SHARING 7 FEATURES CENTERED AROUND THE THEME
Longest letter to the smallest church, but the Lord has plenty to say.
I. THE CHIEF INSPECTOR: The Lord Jesus
Coming with authority as the Son of God
II. THE CHURCH : Church of Thyratira
a. No Biblical record of its start
b. Possibility: Lydia - Acts 16:14
c. Or an extension of the outreach ministry of Paul at Ephesus (Acts 19:10)
III. THE CITY: Thyratira
1. From Pergamum, the Roman road curved east and then southeast to Thyatira, approximately
40 miles away.
2. Thyatira was located in a long north-south valley connecting the valleys of the Caicus and
3. Thyatira was founded by one of Alexander the Great's successors, named Seleucus.
4. It was used as a military outpost guarding the north-south road. It later changed hands, and came
under the rule of Lysimachus, who ruled Pergamum.
5. Thyatira was the gateway to Pergamum, and the task of the defenders at Thyatira was to delay
an attacker and thus buy time for Pergamum.
6. Unfortunately, since Thyatira had no natural defenses, the garrison there could not hope to hold
out for long.
7. Thus, the city was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt;
8. Around 190 B.C., Thyratira was conquered and annexed by the Romans and enjoyed the Roman
9. The city then became flourishing a commercial center. Its location on the main north-south road
now became an asset in Roman times as it connected Pergamum and Laodicea, Smyrna, and the
interior regions of the province of Asia.
10. At the time the book Revelation was written, Thyatira was just entering its period of
11. Thyatira was noted for its numberous guilds (similar to today's labor unions).
12. Thyatira's main industry was the production of wool and dyed goods (especially purple goods,
dyed with purple dye extracted from the madder root).
13. There also were guilds for linen workers, makers of outer garments, dyers, leather workers,
tanners, potters, bankers, slave dealers, and bronze smiths.
14. Lydia probably represented her guild in Phillippi (Acts 16:14), showing that Thyratira's market
extended across the Aegean Sea to mainland Greece.
15. Among various gods, the primary god worshipped by the people in Thyatira was the Greek sun
a. He was the son of Zeus
b. god a prophecy,archery and music
c. he had an interest in healing also
d. his son was Asklepios: god of medicine and healing (prevalent in the church at Pergamum)
16. The pressure faced y the Christians in Thyatira came from the guilds.
17. To hold a job or run a business, it was necessary to be a member of a guild.
18. Each guild had its patron deity, in whose honor feasts were held---complete with meat sacrificed to idols
and sexual immorality.
19. Christians faced the dilemma of attending those feasts or possibly losing their livelihood.
20. The way some believers were respoinding, drew the attention of the Lord.
IV. THE COMMENDATION: He commends them for progressing in their spiritual lives.
IN REGARDS TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY, ARE YOU MOVING FORWARD OR BACKWARD?
Are you moving forward compared to where you were a year ago? 2 years ago? 10 years ago? 15
years ago? Or have you gone backward?
Signs that evidence spiritual maturity:
1) Showing love
We should display :
*Love for the Savior I Cor. 16:22
*Love for the saints Col. 1:4 , I Peter 1:22
Not criticism, cynicism, or cutting remarks
*Love for the sinners Eph. 2:3-5, Rom. 5:8, John 3:16, I Tim. 1:15
Don't forget---you were once in that category.
*Motivated by love for Christ
*Meeting a need
Encouragement, prayer, choir, teacher, elder, deacon, custodian,treasurer,
special music, Jr. church, parking lot, furnace filter, secretary, lawn care
Out of church:
Warm smile, kind word, word of encouragement, helping hand, financial assitance,
sharing the Gospel, praying with someone, listening ear
*Minister in the power of the Spirit
I Thess. 1:5a
Our success comes from who's behind us. Where's our power source?
3) Showing Faithfulness
Showing faith demands:
*Convictions (Based on the Word)
*Control of the flesh
"Patience" - steadfast or showing perseverence
*Refuses to give up
Some of you may feel like giving up right now
*Realizes the "big picture"
Signs of 'moving backwards'
1) Poor attendance
2) Marked by spending less and less time with the Lord
3) Marked by the things of God no longer holding first place in your life
4) Marked by the world having more appeal ato you that the Word
V. THE CONCERN: Spiritural corruption was being tolerated.
THE LORD DOES CARE HOW THINGS ARE HANDLED IN THE CHURCH
1. Disobedience to the Scriptures
1) Called Jezebel a prophetess
2) Calls herself a 'prophetess'
Self appointed - This problem is the same today in some churches
I Tim 2:12 " I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man..."
3) "Jezebel" is symbolic name for the character in I Kings 16:30-33
2. Deceptive, enticing others to sin
1) She might have taught the prevalent Greek philosophy of the day
* Spirit is good
*Flesh or body is evil
*God only interested in the spirit
*Doesn't matter what you do with your body
2) This false teaching certainly would appeal to the believers who knew if they wanted
to hang on to those jobs with the local gods, they would have to honor the god of the feasts
* Accompanied by sexual immorality
3. So some believers bought into this false teaching, thinking it would solve their problem with the
locals gods. But instead it corrupted them and plunged them into sin.
REPENTANCE IS OFTEN A DIVIDER THAT SEPARATES TRUE BELIEVERS FROM THEM THAT
1. When true believers get involved with sin
* They are convicted by the Holy Spirit
* They sometimes are chastised
* They ultimately repent
2. Jezebel was a servant of satan, not a servant of the Savior
Notice her end:
I Kings 21:23 "And of Jezebel also spoke the Lord saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall
Rev. 2:22, 23 " Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them commit adultery with her into great
tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death: and
all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will
give unto everyone according to your works."
Hell is the destination for all those who refuse to repent.
REGARDLESS OF THE NATURE OF THE SIN, THE LORD EXTENDS FORGIVENESS TO THOSE
1. These are the believers who were enticed to sin
2. He doesn't threaten to send them to hell, but to bring them severe chastising, unless they
repent of their deeds.
3. Believers can never be sent to hell, because they belong to Christ.
Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in ChristJesus,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit."
But when we become stubborn in our sin or refuse to repent, we can expect divine
4. He as we mentioned before, the Lord is gracious and gives us a chance to make things
right with Him, regardless of what we have done.
5. What's the nature of the sin you've been involved in?:
WHILE WORKS CANNOT GET US INTO SALVATION, THEY DRAW THE ATTENTION OF CHRIST
!. Ephesians 2:8, 9 - For by grace we are saved
2. Ephesians 2:10 - After we are saved, our works prove that we are saved.
1) The Lord reviews them
*You in the church
*You in the community
2) He reviews them to see if they were done out of the flesh or in the spirit
3) The Lord rewards them
* Those done in the energy of the Holy Spirit will be rewarded
(at the Judgement Seat of Christ)
* Sometimes the Lord rewards while we're here on earth
Could be a material reward
Good health reward
Does your life dispay any good works? If so, it can draw more attention to Christ.
REGARDLESS OF THE UNCOMMITED, THE LORD KNOWS THE FAITHFUL---REMAIN
FAITHFUL TO HIM.
Rev. 2:24, 25 He wants us to know He's aware, and one day He's coming
1. The tendency to get discouraged when others are uncommited, even wanting to give up or quit.
2. But the Lord knows and He wants us to remain faithful to Him
3. That can change your whole spiritual disposition around in a positive way
VII THE CHALLENGE
1. Looking forward to The Savior's Promise
It's a two-fold promise
1) Rule With Christ v. 26, 27
1. Those who remain faithful to Christ in spite of their difficult
circumstances in their life, will rule with Him in His earthly
2. Those in the millenium kingdom who rebel against Christ's rule, threaten
His people will be destroyed
3. Those who rule with Christ will have delegated authority from Him,
just as Christ received authority from His Father
They will help maintain peace and justice. That's us!!
2) Reflect on Christ v. 28
1. The morningstar is Christ Himself
2. The morningstar appears brightest right before dawn
3. After Christ comes for us, His church at the Rapture, and then
7 years later after the tribulation, He will return to earth in all His
brightness which will mark the dawn of the new millenium
4. We will have the privilege to reflect on Him in all His fulness there and
throughout the realms of eternity.
Listening To The Spirit's Message as we stand strong on God's Word
So this morning.. Let's be determined that regardless of what we may be facing in our lives, let's remain
faithful unto Him.
One day we'll rule with Him and reflect on Him in all His splendor and magnificent glory....