Thursday, July 21, 2011
THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA: THE COMPROMISING CHURCH II
Reverend Steve had just finished counselling with a member of his flourishing church. The person’s relationship with his wife had been estranged and on the verge of divorce. His children had begun to deviate from godly living to immorality. Deep down in his heart, Steve knew this would happen eventually as that counselee had been visiting prostitutes and living in sexual immorality. Lately, this man had contacted sexually transmitted disease which doctors said was very serious. All Steve could do was to pray for God’s mercy upon this broken family.
The church that Reverend Steve led was a hive of activities. As far as the community was concerned, the Christians in the church were greatly admired and enamoured for being genuinely caring like Christ did. The people felt safe with the church as the pastor would not even speak on sin at all. Many members felt ultimately people were responsible for their own actions. Everyone was welcomed with open arms. Steve would call members to serve God to the best of their abilities regardless of any background they might come from.
As it was late in the evening, Steve sat down to evaluate his day as he normally would. But his mind couldn’t shake off the meeting just now with that member. He knew that some cell supervisors especially a woman nicknamed, Jezebel, in the church had influenced greatly that broken man and also many others like him. Have I overlooked some sins and wrong teachings? He reasoned within himself. Due to great success in the church, he had concentrated too much on programs that he neglected to address sins and strange doctrines being perpetuated by some cell leaders. Already many sicknesses had been reported and also an increased of divorces and separations.
As Steve bowed his head to pray, he felt a warm sensation. He opened his eyes and a light shone on him. He knelt down and attuned his ears to hear.
A strong voice spoke….
"These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations-- 'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery' -- just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.*
Reverend Steve cried in hearing those words. Jesus did not forget all the works the church had put in to serve Him although as a pastor, he had tolerated some people’s sins. He vowed to make it right. From then on, Steve addressed sin in its rightful place as he kept on serving God with love and perseverance!
*The above verses are taken from Revelation 2:18-29.
Next: THE CHURCH AT SARDIS: THE DYING CHURCH