We continue our sermon series ‘The seven churches of Revelation’. Preaching from Brian Dickson. Service led by Beverley Sills.
Are these letters to the seven churches relevant for us today? This is a legitimate question, especially as many consider the content of the book of Revelation to be about the apocalypse, about end times and still in our future. However, the contents of the vision were past, present, and future, but from John’s perspective at the time he received the vision.
Rebuke & warning
Thyatira was the fourth church of the seven, that Jesus asked John to write to. These were actual churches of the day, if they existed today, they would be located in modern day Turkey.
The church at Thyatira was commended by our Lord for its faith, love and attention to good works. However this church became corrupt, because it allowed a false prophetess and her teachings to mislead the church into acts of sexual immorality.
Thyatira no longer reflected God’s righteousness when it came to matters of intimacy, instead exchanged that path for one of sensuality and lust without restraint.
Repentance and judgement
It is clear from reading the letters to these churches, that Jesus not only loves and cares for his church, but also administers judgment when a church strays off that straight and narrow path.
Even in this instance, Jesus is seen to be patient towards Thyatira, and gives those involved in acts of sexual immorality, time to repent.
How often does the church come together to examine itself and to repent when it identifies it has walked in error? It is an act that requires great humility, and a path that is difficult to follow.
There were those in the church who did not allow themselves to be swayed by this false doctrine of sexual immorality, to these, Jesus praised. However, they still had to face those in the church who “knew the depths of Satan”.
Churches today face the same challenges. The only way to be commended by God is to know what is true and what is false doctrine. In order to avoid being swayed by false doctrine, we need to read and understand the holy scriptures.
So, the question put before Sittingbourne Baptist Church today is…
Are we a church that reflects God and his Word, or will we allow ourselves to be tainted by this dark world and its lust for sin?
Given the culture and politicisation of our country today, with the overabundance of news and information sources, it is more important than ever to make sure the church is not influenced by heresy, either from outside the church or from within. The holy scriptures are our guide, to keep us walking that straight and narrow path before God.
Sermon Title: Sexual immorality in the church
Bible Reading: Rev. 2:18-24 (Thyatira)
Preacher: Brian Dickson
Worship Leader: Beverley Sills