Revelation is a book of awe and wonder. Much of it we struggle to understand, yet we are intrigued by it – wondering how things will play out in the end times which are soon to come. This incredible book was written by John – the author of the Gospel of John and 1, 2, 3, John while he was banished to the Greek Island of Patmos. While he was there, God showed him a vision of heaven, how things would end here on earth, and gave him messages to the churches. So far, we’ve read about the message to the church in Ephesus, the church in Smyrna (the current city of Izmir, Turkey), and the church in Pergamum (close to Izmir).
Today we read the letter to the church in Thyatira. Thyatira was located in what is now west Turkey – south of Istanbul and about 50 miles from the Aegean Sea. The site in now the modern city of Akhisar. Like the other letters to the churches, God has some good things and some bad things to say about this church.
They had demonstrated several incredible characteristics: (v.19)
- Patient Endurance
- Constant Improvement
But God had a complaint against them too. They had not stood up for truth against Jezebel (the wicked Queen wife of Ahab). She had called herself a prophet and had led people to commit sexual sin and to eat food from idols. The church went along with it – afraid to stand up for God’s standard.
We see this throughout history and certainly today. Believers go along with what is popular and are afraid to stand up for God’s truth in issues like abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, the integrity of God’s Word, and God’s position on leadership for His church. There are hot buttons that we are often afraid to touch for fear of hurting friends or being seen as intolerant.
We must stand up for truth. God has called His people to hold His standard high. How do we know God’s standard on these and other issues? God gives them to us in His Word. Let’s not fall into the same trap that the church in Thyatira did. Let’s be a church and a people that stand for truth while loving people like Jesus did.
- In what ways have you begun to compromise in order to be liked?
- How can you lovingly take a stand for truth?
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor