Revelation 2:18–29 (NKJV)
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
We have the longest of the 7 letters here, and unfortunately for Thyatira, it is mostly rebuke. Jesus once again opens with proving His power. Here He uses the phrases flame of fire and feet like brass, both a symbol of judgment. What a powerful vision of our Lord, we certainly want to avoid this type of judgement at all cost.
This church does have an outward appearance of a vibrant and healthy church. We see the attributes of works, love, service, faith, and patience. All of these attributes should engulf the believers life. Those are the things we want Jesus to see in us. Unfortunately the outward appearance does not match in the inward heart of this church.
This church had fallen victim to false teachings and idol worship, and suffer considerable condemnation for it. Immorality, idol worship and various other sinful behavior had overtaken this once lively church. The Lord rebukes with the strongest language of the 7 letters. Cast into a sickbed, I will kill her children, I am He who searches the minds and hearts, I will give to each one of you according to your works. Oh, I would not want to be the church having to handle such rebuke. I think one of the biggest things to take away from this is the fact that the Lord searches our minds and hearts. I think we can sometimes put on a brilliant facade, but what is on the inside is what the Lord cares about. We can look like the model Christian on the outside while the inside rots with sin. I think the opposite can be said as well, sometimes we look at someone that may have a rotten facade on the outside, while having a heart for the Lord and His work. Regardless of the situation, it is important to remember that the Lord knows our every thought and motivation.
Thankfully, once again, the Lord provides the way out for this church. He says that if they hold fast to the correct doctrine, hold fast to their faith, and hold fast to the Lord, He will place no further burden. There is great victory in those who repent and hold fast.
While many of us will live this life without falling into the sins we see Thyatira succumb to, we all have fallen short of the glory of God. Perfection is the key to eternity, thankfully, the Lord is willing to pay the price that we may be seen as perfect in the eyes of God. Have you come to a place of repentance? There is great power in giving your life over to the Lord. His plans are far greater than ours.
John 14:2–4 (NKJV)
2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”