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Don’t read this line - Things are Getting Worse
We are continuing our journey through the first 3 chapters of Revelation.
We are looking at the 7 churches of Asia Minor.
This is the area now known as Turkey.
These are 7 very real churches.
They were in real cities.
They had real people.
They had real problems.
They were arranged in a giant semi circular shape.
They were a series of postal hubs.
John was on Patmos, just off the coast of Turkey.
He wrote the letter, and from there, Revelation went to the church of Ephesus.
Then it was passed onto Smyrna.
On to Pergamum.
From Pergamum it was passed onto today’s church Thyatira.
The first 3 churches were good churches.
They had their problems, but they were good churches.
Ephesus was an active church.
Ephesus was loyal, but they lacked love.
They were a good church.
They were a hard working church.
Smyrna was loyal, and they suffered.
But they didn’t have love.
Smyrna was in a difficult town.
Pergamum was loyal, but lacked moral passion, and failed to practice church discipline.
These churches had difficulty.
The towns grew worse and worse.
There was persecution.
Jesus said that Smyrna had the synagogue of Satan there.
People were dying.
He said that Pergamum was in the town where Satan’s throne was.
Pergamum was a capital town.
That brings us to Thyatira.
It was a wicked town.
But they weren’t practicing church discipline.
There were some there who had embraced their culture.
That brings us to Thyatira.
Jesus says that there were people in that church who taught and held to the deep things of Satan.
Evil was working it’s way from the surrounding community, into the church.
Thyatira is a sad church in a sad town.
Poor Thyatira.
Thyatira started as a military base.
Pergamum was the capital, about 40 miles to the west.
Thyatira was established to slow down approaching armies.
So if an enemy wanted to attack Pergamum, they’d have to go through Thyatira first.
Thyatira is described as a speed bump on the way to Pergamum.
I couldn’t tell you how many times poor Thyatira was destroyed and rebuilt.
I think of kids building forts on the beach.
They know the tide is coming in, so they make a fortress to stop or slow down the waves.
They set up layers of small walls to stop the water.
In between the waves are moats to redirect the water back to the ocean.
But really a kids fort on the beach won’t stop the water.
It gets plowed over by the water.
And that’s the fun of it.
Once it’s destroyed, he gets to rebuild his fort.
Thyatira was like a kids fort on the beach.
It’s purpose was to slow down armies that wanted to attack Pergamum.
Once the Romans were in charge, they adopted Thyatira, and there was a period of Roman peace.
They were not longer being attacked and destroyed.
With their newfound peace, and finally found some stability, their economy grew, and commerce developed.
The city specialized in dyed fabrics, and especially purple fabrics.
The book of Acts tells us about a woman in Philippi, Lydia, she was originally from Thyatira, and she was a seller of purple fabrics.
She was a great representative of the business of Thyatira.
The other cities that we have looked at were fiercely religious.
Thyatira, not so much.
They worshipped Apollo, but it wasn’t as fanatical as in other towns.
But their main goal was happiness.
They were a secular city.
They liked their freedom.
They liked their money.
They liked life without borders.
They were about making money.
Personal happiness became their driving force.
And in this city there was a church.
This was a church that mirrored the culture around them.
They have made their personal happiness the main authority.
And Jesus writes to remind them of who is in charge.
And that’s who Jesus writes to.
He reminds them of His authority.
Acts tells us about a woman in Philippi, Lydia, she was originally from Thyatira, and she was a seller of purple fabrics..
Open your Bibles to .
Read Revelation 2:18-29.
This letter to Thyatira is about The Authority of Jesus.
Jesus begins by describing Himself.
He’s the Son of God.
He’s divine.
He has eyes that are like a flame of fire.
It’s as if He has laser vision that can expose everything beneath Him.
This is a church that has forgotten the Lordship of Jesus.
They have fooled themselves into thinking that God doesn’t care about how we live or what we do.
That He’s not so concerned with our actions.
In fact they belittled it so much that they didn’t think Jesus even saw their actions.
And yet Jesus has eyes that are like fire, and they expose all of mankind’s actions.
It’s as if He has laser vision that can penetrates into the thick fog of our own sin and darkness.
As He writes this letter to Thyatira, He begins with His knowing authority.
He is concerned with actions on the earth.
He sees the things that happen on earth.
His feet are described.
They are like burnished bronze.
They aren’t just the color of bronze.
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