Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Church that Tolerates Sin
...the church of Thyatira

by John MacArthur:

Entanglement with the World
The letter to Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-29 is the longest of the seven letters, and it is written to the most insignificant of the seven cities. This letter closely follows the thought of the letter to Pergamos. The compromise with sin, Satan, and the world that began in Pergamos becomes full scale in Thyatira. If the church at Pergamos married the world, then the church at Thyatira had been living with it for a long time. It had become entrenched in the world. The letter shows the depths of sin that compromise brings: full scale idolatry and immorality.

The church at Thyatira represents the church that is absorbed by the world. It was literally living with the world. There are also churches today that name the name of Christ but are totally involved with the world. There are Christians who call themselves disciples of Christ but they are really disciples of Satan and the world.

Evils of Idolatry
The evils of idolatry had penetrated deeply into the church at Thyatira. For example:

THE WICKEDNESS OF JEZEBEL
In Revelation 2:20 we will meet a woman who is called Jezebel. That does not mean that her real name was Jezebel; she may have become known as Jezebel because her works so closely parallelled those of Jezebel in the Old Testament (1 Kgs. 16:31; 18:1--21:29). That Jezebel caused Israel to be wed to Baal: When Ahab, the king of Israel, married her, he married the world and paganism because she brought Baal worship into the nation. That is exactly what Jezebel of Thyatira did--she married the church to the world and brought in paganism, which resulted in immorality and idolatry. Both Jezebels succeeded in corrupting God's assembly by initiating a marriage to paganism.

THE DEPTHS OF SATAN In Revelation 2:24 we see a comment regarding "the depths of Satan." What began as an aberrant teaching in the church at Pergamos became full-scale activity in a mystic cult of worldliness at Thyatira. The church tolerated sin, apostasy, idolatry, and communal feasts (where sacrifices were offered to idols, eaten by the people, and followed by an orgy). The church even became deeply involved in those things! Once the church married the world, it became absorbed by the world.

As we look at the letter to the church at Thyatira, let's begin with ...

5 comments:

ann_in_grace said...

How timely for You to post it..

My pastor preached today on the topic of sin, and was very explicit in the firm belief that our church should never tolerate int among us.
Not often, especially in sweden, one may hear this sort of preaching - and I am so grateful for this little congregation...

The Trousered Ape said...

Steve - good thoughts and a timely reminder. Especially at this time with the relativistic and postmodern mindset and how we ought to be guarding against it at every turn. That is not to say that the postmodern doesn't have some valid critiques in places, but as a whole it carries with it the undercurrents of both poor theology and poor philosophy.

Thanks for sharing.

Shawn

Sista Cala said...

The church has compromised w/the world so long it is hard to tell the difference. ( in some congregations).

Happy to find your blog. I will be back as time permits.

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