The Church in Thyatira: The Corrupted Church

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The church in Thyatira is one of the overlooked churches in the Bible. I may call it a corrupted church, but this is also a church doing wonderful works for Christ. It’s because the Bible is a book of truth. It shows us the good and the bad, whether we like it or not.

Like all churches in the Bible, the church in Thyatira had its faults. We need to learn that there is no perfect church. But we must have the desire to be the best church we can be. And we can do this by learning from the faults of others. We must build upon the victories of other churches and avoid their mistakes.

The service of the church in Thyatira.

I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Revelation 2:19

The church in Thyatira is known for serving the Lord Jesus Christ. In this section, we’ll learn about their motivation in service, faithfulness, and increasing work.

Love is their motivation in serving Christ.

Revelation 2:19 tells us of their charity and service. This means that love motivated the church in Thyatira to serve Christ.

30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:30-31

Some Christians have a wrong motivation in serving God. Some do for the sake of recognition and probably financial compensation. There’s nothing wrong with having both of these. But it must not be our motivation to serve Lord Jesus Christ.

We must learn to love God first if we want the right motivation to serve Christ. The greatest commandment is to love God. Therefore, loving God must be our priority. This means we must serve God because we love Him in the first place.

Also, love must motivate us to serve other Christians. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 shows us that if we do things without love, we are nothing, and we’ll gain nothing from our service. So before serving others, you must evaluate your motivation first.

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

2 Corinthians 5:14

The apostle Paul enjoyed preaching the gospel, serving the saints, and suffering for the savior because the love of the Lord Jesus Christ compelled him to do so. That’s why some people are willing to suffer and give everything for Christ because they have experienced and understood the love of Christ towards them.

All believers have experienced the love of Christ, but only a few understand it. This is why they have no motivation to do the work of God.

Their faithfulness.

Since love is the church’s motivation, they moved to be faithful. Notice that Revelation 2:19 mentions faith and patience together. And James 1:2-4 notes that trying our faith produces patience or endurance. Therefore, this shows us that this church, like every other church, has undergone a great test of faith.

Despite the great trials of faith that the church had gone through, they continued to serve God. They maintained their service to God and even increased their works for Christ.

Their increasing works.

I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Revelation 2:19

The church in Thyatira was nothing like the church in Sardis. The church in Sardis became complacent in serving Christ because they thought they had already done enough. Consequently, they stopped serving Christ and had no vision for the future.

However, the church in Thyatira continued to serve Christ. And they even did more than what they had done before. They were always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58

The sins of the church in Thyatira.

The church in Thyatira is a beautiful example of a serving church. But they also did things that the Lord Jesus Christ reproved. These are the things that any church must avoid.

Their tolerance of sin.

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Revelation 2:20

They were tolerant of sin because they allowed a woman called Jezebel to teach the church to sin. The church could have avoided this if they had just stopped the woman named Jezebel from usurping authority inside the church. This woman seduced and influenced people inside the church because of their tolerance of sin.

The teacher of sin.

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Revelation 2:20

The woman in the church in Thyatira was a self-proclaimed teacher and preacher since she was not biblically qualified. The church may not have ordained her, but they allowed her to teach and have authority over the men inside the church. This is in direct disobedience to the Word of God.

11Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

1 Timothy 2:11-14

Why did Paul have to mention that Eve was the one in transgression in the Garden of Eden? Paul shows us that the moment Eve usurped the authority of Adam, that’s when sin entered in. That’s why the woman preacher of Thyatira led the church to sin.

The saints in the church in Thyatira.

But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

Revelation 2:24

Not everyone in the church in Thyatira was supporting the teacher of sin. There are still those who are faithful to biblical standards and teachings. These are the ones who were not tolerant of sin.

That’s why we must not be quick to judge a church because of the sins of some. We often attribute the sins of a few to the whole church. I believe this is unfair to the faithful members of a church.

But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

Revelation 2:25

They already have what we also have—the Word of God. And we must make sure that we hold fast to it. Because times will change, but the Word of God will never change.

Some churches have let go of the Word of God. Instead of holding on to it, they held on to popular culture, trends, and doctrines. As a result, their doctrines and practices are no longer based on the Word of God.

The church in Thyatira had faults and victories just like any other church. Let us avoid their faults and improve on their successes.

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