The Church at Thyatira: In Pursuit of Popularity
October 30, 1994
The longest letter is written to the church that we know the least about.
The city of Thyatira was located about 30 miles from Pergamum and Sardis and became an outpost city in the many battles that raged in the region. Three particular facets identified this city.
1. The trade guild system in Thyatira was at its most intense and pervasive. A Christian would have a difficult time holding onto a non-compromised faith in this pressure packed situation.
2. The worship of the Oracle of Sam Bathe. The priestess was famous for her influence over people.
3. In Thyatria, you have the center of a wool and dyeing industry.
**The color purple was closely identified with this city. You might recall a story in Acts 16:14 where Lydia, a seller of purple from Thyatria is spoken of.
**The purple dye was extracted from the throat of a tiny shellfish which could produce only a drop. One historian stated that a pound of dye could not be bought for a thousand denarii.
(A denarii is one day's wages.)
Jesus introduces himself to the church at Thyatira by describing himself in this manner: "The Son of God says this." He does this because of the Oracle of Sam Bathe and a woman named Jezebel, who has identified herself as a spokesperson for God.
He adds that his eyes are a flame and his feet are bronze. In other words, He is coming in judgment, big time!
What and why was Jesus coming in judgment against this fellowship? Remember the three-fold dynamic of these letters:
1. The actual church and its problem.
2. The prophetic age called the "dark ages" in church history.
3. Personal application by discovering the "sin" that affects your personal walk with God.
What was this sin? One of the most subtle pressures we face as Christians is that of popularity. We all desire acceptance, fairness and good will from our fellowmen and wome ...
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