Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Corrupted Church

The world doesn't need a tolerant and compromising church.

Revelation 2:18-29 "Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze: 19 "I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.

20 "But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman--that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet--to lead My servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.

22 "Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the One who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.

24 "But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching ('deeper truths,' as they call them--depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you 25 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come.

26 To all who are victorious, who obey Me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations. 27 They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. 28 They will have the same authority I received from My Father, and I will also give them the morning star! 29 "Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches.

This church was doing some really great things, Jesus said that he knows "ALL the things you do" and he was pleased with their love, faith, service, and patient endurance. Not only were they doing all of those things they were also getting better at doing all of those things. They must have had a great discipleship program in their church.

Even though they were constantly improving in so many areas, we all know that there isn't a perfect church, it is easy for any church to emphasize certain qualities and as a result they tend to neglect something else. After Jesus commendation he let's them know where they needed to focus their attention.

This church would have been very popular in today's culture where tolerance is expected of everybody and absolute truth and values are not allowed. What God has said is wrong in His Word, many, even in the religious community, are now calling normal and holy. That is what was happening in the church at Thyatira as well.
It is interesting to contrast the churches at Ephesus and Thyatira. The Ephesian church was weakening in its love, yet faithful to judge false teachers; while the people in the assembly at Thyatira were growing in their love, but too tolerant of false doctrine. Both extremes must be avoided in the church.
-Warren Weirsbe
Jesus tolerated people that he didn't agree with without being mean to them, he tolerated people that were using him to get something from him and he tolerated physical abuse. In many ways Jesus was the most tolerant but in the essentials Jesus was very intolerant and narrow in his teaching.

The culture that Jesus lived in here on earth was very tolerant of things that he could not accept. Jesus never tolerated the sin and false teaching was all around him. Jesus hates the sin but he loves the sinner and wants to give him eternal life in his presence.
All of us have to decide how far we will go in accepting the cultural standards that our world embraces. Where do we draw the line in being friends with the culture around us without falling into compromise? Where are the boundaries?

We are citizens of another kingdom that we long to be in but for now we are trapped in a world that is ruled by sin and hostile to God's standards. This battle between the two worlds should create tension in us so that this world shouldn't feel like home to us. (Colossians 1:13)

Jesus words to the church in Thyatira to hold on tight are just as good for us today, he never says that it is going to be easier to live in this world, in fact he told us that we will have trouble but my love for Jesus should make it easier. Because I love him I am motivated to love what he loves and hate the sinful deeds of this world that caused him to suffer on the cross.
The Sin Of Tolerance (