Today you should read: Revelation 2:18-29
Historical Context: Thyatira was a political and culturally marginalized city, finding its identity economically, with guilds dealing in metals and fabric (Acts 16:14). Guilds celebrated their patron deities in periodic festivities, so Christians may have been tempted toward the message of a “prophetess” who advocated participation in illicit sex and food sacrificed to idols, both staples of the social scene. Archaeological soundings at modern Ak-Hissar have yielded evidence of a few ancient architectural elements from Thyatira. Coins point to the ongoing NT-era worship of Apollo, who had been assimilated with the Lydian sun-god Tyrimnos (ESV Study Notes).
On the surface it is hard to see how this might relate to our modern day culture in the church. Yet, how many of us “worship” our modern day “deities”? If we understand our obsession with the rich and famous as deity worship then this passage becomes very applicable to our lives. I am not saying that we should stop watching movies and TV or move to the hills to escape the sexualized culture that we live in.
What I am challenging us in is our worship. What do you worship? What do you seek, serve, spend money on, spend your time on? What wakes you up in the morning? What makes you sin if you don’t get it or what would cause you to sin in order to get it?
The answer to these questions reveals the state of your heart. The warning that God is giving to the people of the church of Thyatira is if they become like the culture then they will burn with it. Our goal as Christians should be to impact the culture around us, not become like the culture around us.
Posted by: Chad Wiles