Thyatira

“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. 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. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.” Revelation 2: 19-21

Do you have a Jezebel in your life? Someone who is leading you into fornication or idolatry?  It is very easy to say,” Oh, not idolatry. I have always believed in one God.  I mean, I know Baal and Zeus and all of them are just myths.” But, what if you looked at idolatry as worship of something that you put above God. Here is a definition of idolatry from Google “Extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.” If this is the definition,  then many more people have been there. How important is your job to you? or your money? or your spouse? So important that they come before God? Everyone has to answer these questions with stark honesty for yourself. But, we have to look at idolatry as more than just praying to some entity other than God.

And what about fornication or committing sexual sin? Often we try to just glance right over sexual things. Maybe we think. Well, when I was young but not now. Or, I never hurt anyone. Or, but no one ever knew.  Wrong. Jesus knows and he doesn’t approve. You are responsible to keep yourself pure. If you have committed sexual sin, repent and get back on track. Three people know. You, the person you were with, and Jesus. He doesn’t continuously mention sexual immorality just because you shouldn’t, but also because it affects all parts of your life. Sooner or later the people you love do find out. Even if they don’t know the details, they know “something” isn’t right.

In Revelations 2:22 Jesus says “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. These are the people who commit sexual sin and idolatry. One of her punishments is that her children will be killed. One of those verses that just make me cringe. I do not want my God to be the kind of being that kills innocent children. It just doesn’t work in my head, at all. But, then I have to consider several things. First, he isn’t “my” God in the realm of made especially for me. He is God, and he is who he is, and I don’t get to remake him to match my idea of what God should be. It just doesn’t work that way. Second, He isn’t a human being. His ways are above mine. Death of a child to me is horrible to contemplate, but to Him perhaps it is just a passage for them to a better world. So, as much as I would like the entire Bible to be flowers and butterflies, it isn’t. A lot of it is history just the way it happened due to human behaviors good and bad.

Then, Jesus’s letter to Thyatira, He speaks to those who are not influenced by Jezebel. He doesn’t ask anything more of them. Verses 24 and 25 say: ““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 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come.” Verse 19 contains what they have to hold tightly to. “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.”

This is the goal of all of us today. Stay away from sexual immorality and idolatry and love God and each other, have faith, take care of each other, and be patient. Keep up with these things until the end improving in your life as a Christian each day. My what a beautiful world of experience everyone were just trying to do these things. What a wonderful world for you if you are following this type of life.

Notice that Jesus calls the false teaching that Jezebel is caught up in at Thyatira as “deeper truths” and He tells us that they are actually the depths of Satan. I want nothing to do with Satan but the depths of Satan? Definitely not! If someone asks you to go beyond Jesus to deeper truths, run the other way. Jesus’s truth is all you need.

What do you get if you persevere? Jesus says: “To them I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!” (verses 27-28) Jesus is the morning star, so I take this to mean I will always be in his glow, but the smashing of the evil people like clay pots? Yep, you guessed it, doesn’t fit with my flowers and butterflies, but I have to trust that Jesus knows more than I do and this will be a true reward. We don’t have all the answers, but I love being in the glow of the morning star.

I pray that God will help you avoid all the Jezebels in your life. That He will keep you on the straight and narrow and reward you in Heaven. Amen

 

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