Warnings to Thyatira
For a Christian in Thyatira, it might have been tough to receive this letter from John. God had some very strong warnings for them. Do you think these warnings have any meaning for us today? Let’s learn more about them and see what we can learn.
Let’s take a closer look at God’s message to Thyatira. We don’t want to fall into the same trap they did. First let’s read the some excerpts from the message to the church in Thyatira.
” I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” Revelation 2:19-21
The Christians in Thyatira were working hard, serving others, and even improving in all their works. However in God’s eyes – an active church is not always a faithful church.
Jesus, the one who has eyes of fire and can see into the heart, tells them where they have failed. They had let Jezebel, a self-proclaimed prophetess, teach in the church. Whether really named Jezebel or nicknamed after the wicked queen Jezebel in the Old Testament we do not know. Either way, she was trouble. Serious trouble! The next couple verses are some of the strongest in the messages to the seven churches.
“Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that 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 every one of you according to your works.” Revelation 2:22-23
Why so serious? What was the big deal about eating things sacrificed to idols, especially if they didn’t even believe in the idols.
A Little History
Thyatira was a city of merchants and traders. These business owners formed trade guilds to support each other and maintain standards. Members were expected to attend the guild festivals and give honor to the patron god. If you didn’t, you could lose your business, or even be put to death!
But Jezebel, the so-called prophetess, was teaching compromise. Basically she was teaching that pretending to worship idols or giving the appearance of worshipping idols to save your life was probably okay. The Bible says the opposite. God says, “Don’t learn the way of the heathen…” and “Don’t worship me the way the pagans worship their gods” (Jeremiah 10:2; Deut. 12:13)
Terrible Results of Idolatry
Do you think these instructions are still important today?
These serious warnings were to make the people aware of the terrible results of idolatry. Idolatry always separates us from God and his perfect love and care.
Idolatry also includes being attached and devoted to something more than than you’re attached to God. Even sports, movie stars, food or hobbies can become idols if they take our attention away from God. Do you have anything that you think about all the time? Do you ever think, “Oh, if only I had (fill in your favorite thing) then I’d be happy?”
Jesus is the only true source of happiness. When we put Him first in our life He will fill our life with other fun and enjoyable things too, and they won’t push Him out of the way. Pray for Jesus to give you a new heart today. Make Jesus your first priority no matter what and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)