Text- Revelation 2:18-29
Theme- Maintain purity at all times
Purpose- Encourage all of us to remain pure doctrinally and individually
Proposition-You must maintain purity in your church as well as your personal life
Introduction- We have all heard the saying that one bad apple can turn a whole barrel of good apples bad. That principal is very true in the church as well. We as believers must guard against any form of heresy or doctrinal impurity from gaining entrance into our congregations. In the same way, we must guard against all forms of impurity from gaining entrance to our own lives as well.
The church in Thyatira was one such church that was not very careful at all as to what was allowed in it. They were not very discerning or cautious as to the teachings held. We need to make sure that we do not get proud or have an attitude of elitism in that we are the best church in town, or we preach the truth while the others do not. We almost have an attitude of Pharisees that looked down on the Publican. Any church that takes its eyes off of glorifying God as its main priority will eventually allow error and unbiblical practices to take place.
On the other hand, any one in his own personal life that does not live for the glory of God will eventually become cold and fall away from God, and allow sin to creep into their lives too. Remember its not always the big sins that we fall into, but rather the sins that are small and tiny creep in and eventually take over and pull us away from God.
So I believe this passage is a call to the church as a whole but also a call to the individual.
1. The Characteristics of the one warning the church (18)
Illustration- I was warned by a police man to turn on my headlights on my car.
We see in verse 18 that the Lord Jesus Christ was the one that addressed the church and had a few things to say to them. He was not merely wanting to casually talk with them, He was about to severely warn them.
Let’s consider briefly the way the Lord is described
- He is called the Son of God (18)
this is the first time in the book where the speaker is actually named. Any of the other times He is described according to His attributes, but here He wants the church of Thyatira to know that He is not playing any games. They are dealing with God Himself.
- His eyes were like a flame of fire, which describes His all seeing and all knowing ability. He peers into the life of every person and with laser like eyes sees everything down to your very heart. Don’t think that you are ever able to hide or pull a fast one over on God.
some verses to consider- Genesis 4:9-10; Psalms 139:7-10; Proverbs 15:3
God sees all the evil things that are taking place in this world. He knows what is really going on behind closed doors. This should both terrify the boots off us, but for the believer it should also give us great comfort knowing that He is watching us as we see in Psalms 34:15.
- His feet were like fine brass, This may possibly refer to the fact that He was majestic and glorious in appearance. It could also refer to the fact that the Lord was going to crush His enemies with His feet and in fierce indignation destroy them like Isaiah 63:1-6 describes.
2. The Content of the warning (19-20)
Let’s remember that when God warns His children He usually doesn’t give it to them with both barrels because they can’t handle it.
We see here once again that God starts off with commending the church and telling them what they were doing right.
- He noticed their works, charity, service, faith and patience(19)
works- deeds or actions
charity- love for God and fellow believers
service- work in the ministry
faith- trust and dependence on God
patience- endurance no matter what God allowed them to face
- He noticed their unfaithfulness to Him (20)
The church allowed a woman to teach them wicked and false doctrine.
She was just like Jezebel of the Old Testament that taught the children of Israel to worship idols and be immoral in practice.
First of all, she should not have been teaching in the church.
Secondly, she was leading the believers into wicked practices
Thirdly, she called herself a prophetess
No one that claimed to be serving the Lord or even speaking for Him would have been teaching about worshipping God in an immoral way.
Application- I ask you, what little or even big sins have you allowed in your own life? Are there some that you have hidden from everyone around you? Maybe, you would be totally ashamed if people knew what you really were harboring in your heart.
Remember the Bible says that those who hide their sins will not prosper, but the ones that confess and forsake them will have mercy (Proverbs 28:13)
3. The Consequences if the warning is not heeded (21-23)
- She would be thrown onto a bed (22)
this meant that she would be either thrown into hell the ultimate resting place or she would be forced to face severe judgment.
- Those who were believers were told to repent while there was still time (22)
- Her followers would also be killed if no repentance was sought(23)
- The churches would know for a fact that God is the one that considers man’s ways and judges or rewards accordingly(23)
4. The Correct rewards were promised to those that were overcomers (24-29)
- They were promised no further burdens to be placed upon them (24)
- They were promised to rule with Christ in the millennium (26-27)
- They were promised Christ Himself (28-29)
Conclusion- God promises to bless you as well if you would only remain faithful to Him. There may be sins in your life. You need to repent from them and come clean with God. He promises to forgive you and to give you the strength to serve Him each day. Yield yourself to the influence of the Holy Spirit and stop disobeying Him. Let your focus be on Christ and knowing Him more and more.