Meditation Mondays Revelation 2:18-29: Assimilating into an Unbelieving Culture (Sexual Immorality and Idol Worship)
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
The flaming fire of eyes our Lord has signifies that He sees all things. And there is a purity in that which He gazes upon. There must be because He is Holy. The Lord's feet are also like fine brass- beautiful yet immovable. His placed is fixed. His authority is fixed and He speaks to this corrupt and worldly church, Thyatira by reminding them of these qualities. You see, Thyatira was a trade city and the trade guilds located there were idol worshippers, worshipping their 'trade' gods.
In this economy, if you wanted to progress in life economically, you belonged to a trade guild. If you belonged to a trade guild, then it was expected that you worship that guild's god. This is the economic situation in Thyatira. So much like the persecuted church, if one wanted to be faithful to the Lord, it would cost them and the cost was not cheap.
Now here is the trap that Thyatira fell into- they became acquainted with the things of Satan- the idol worship, the festivals to foreign gods, and sexual immorality. Somewhere along the line, they began to fall into the trap of thinking, we must integrate into the culture to 'win' the culture for Jesus. Eventually, they compromised. They indulged in the things of Satan, and our Lord with eyes of purity like fire and fixed, beautiful, immovable feet like fine brass called them to forsake the 'doctrines of Satan' and put their faith back in Him- like their early works.
Have you forsaken your early works of feasting on Christ believer? Satan wants us to casually assimilate into the world. And he skillfully does this with every micro decision we choose to make. And if sin, such as sexual immorality becomes normal to us- if we too assimilate into the wicked culture we live in so much so that we become like them and comfortable with them, we are in a very dangerous place.
We are drinking the things of Satan in like water and we won't even realize it. Think of how desensitized you may already be. Do you tolerate wickedness? What's going on in your home? What's going on in your head? What do you spend your time doing? These questions can really reveal your heart posture. Or are you a gospel-centered moral conscience to an unbelieving culture? The prophets of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the New Testament had clarity on righteousness and unrighteousness. They had clarity on their role in an unbelieving culture. They had clarity on Jesus. The church of Thyatira lost sight of this. Have you?