But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star! “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” Revelation 2:24-29 NLT
In Thyatira there was, apparently, a remnant of true believers who had not succumbed to the false teachings of the Jezebel in the church. Most likely, Jezebel was not the woman's name. She was referred to as "Jezebel" because of her rebellious, pagan ways. She had incorporated paganism with church worship. Immorality resulted. The church in Thyatira was in full blown immorality and had lost its conviction and consecration. Antinomianism had set in. This belief held that the flesh was under the control of sin and could not be brought into submission. Therefore, sin was a natural occurrence of simply living in the body. This teaching boasted that the spirit of a believer was redeemed and righteous but the flesh was doomed to sinful behavior until Christ came or death. To put it bluntly, this church was being taught that you could do whatever you want as a believer in Jesus and still be right with God. There was no conscience of holiness and righteousness. In fact, there was a celebratory attitude toward pagan immorality. This church was in "deep, satanic" control and didn't even know it. This sounds too much like many of our modern "hyper grace" churches in America. "Come as you are", "Do what you want", "Jesus loves you anyway". We are marrying ourselves to the culture rather than marrying ourselves to Jesus. Yes, Jesus loves us! Yes, He is the way of salvation! Yes, we will struggle against sin until He comes or we die! However, we cannot dive into the cesspool of sin, party with the devil, and claim that Jesus has given us permission to do so. This is diametrically opposed to His character. He is Holy!!! Jesus did not come to liberate us in sin. He came to liberate us from sin. “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?” Romans 6:1-2 NLT “I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:4 NLT “Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 NLT It is abundantly clear that God has saved us to redeemed us from sin and it's penalty. He has saved us to show forth His righteousness. Take a look at a commonly quoted passage of scripture: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT We are saved by grace! Hallelujah!!! I am so glad this is true. Now let's take a look at the very next verse of that same passage: "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT We are recreated in Christ Jesus to do good works. Notice that good works are the result of a genuine salvation experience. Good works never equal salvation, but good works are certainly the product of salvation. We should never allow the teaching of Christ to be intertwined with the works of Satan. The two do not belong together. The church in Thyatira was doing just that. Jesus was vehemently calling the church to repentance and forewarning them of coming judgment. O, how we need preachers to preach this message in our time. The church is in need of a biblical, holy revival. We need purging and purifying. Sin has set up its headquarters in many of our churches. Satan knows that the only way to defeat the church is to join it and corrupt it. When he does, it dies. Many churches today are nothing more than a club that has a religious name. Christ has called us to be His church! Lord, please help us to be just that. Will you pray that prayer today? Will you be a part of the remnant of Christ that refuses to cower to the culture? Will you stand true to Christ and His righteousness? If so, Jesus promises us the same thing He promised the faithful in Thyatira: The kingdom and the King (read again Revelation 2:24-29). Jesus said we would be granted the honor to reign with Him on this earth and we will enjoy His kingdom. “And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.”” Revelation 5:10 NLT In Genesis 1:28 God gave man dominion over the earth. In Genesis 3, man fell to sin, thus forfeiting themselves, their posterity, and all the earth to Satan. Through Jesus Christ, we have redemption of all of these. I am so glad that I have accepted the King (Jesus) and that He will allow me to reign (have dominion over the earth) because He has ransomed us from Satan and sin. Until He returns, or until I die, I want to live in honor of His Holy name!
Rev. Curtis Norris