Thyatira permitted sexual immorality amongst it's people. Scripture teaches there is a place for proper judgement inside the church. Popular culture would teach "judge not" but let's look at the entirety of the Scriptural context for that phrase and some other places.
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Many, including myself, take this to mean that judgment is reserved for within the church, by those not victim to the thing they are accusing someone else of.
God is not against judges, He appointed judges over Israel and made a whole book about it named JUDGES. He gives judgement to the Son in John 5 we read
22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
And in Revelation we have read that Jesus is returning as the Judge.
Paul told the Corinthians we are EXPECTED to judge within the church as oppossed to letting nonbelievers handle our disputes. Look at 1 Corinthians 6, this is one of those passages that some people will not like but I want you to grasp this as a key verse to understand something in a minute.
2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!
7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Paul expects us to reign with Christ in the Millenial kingdom like we have been talking about in Revelation and if we can do that we can come to agreements on trivial matters and learn to let some things go instead of blowing them up.
This passage mentions homosexuality as a sin. There's no way around it, it's in the text. And we might be tempted because we're not dealing with that same sin to use this to point the finger at others. But also notice it lists adultery, greed, drunkeness, other sexual sins. All of these are definitely sins, unexcused. We should HELP people through their sins we are not struggling with and be prepared to take help from others. And we should not think we are better than others because their sin is in a different category than ours. If we have any unrepentant sin, we must repent and turn from it, and to Jesus for forgiveness.
Thyatira was falling into a sex cult. They may have tried to keep this from other church members. But God searches hearts and minds and knows what ALL of our sins are, even sins in our minds and hearts where we fantasize on everything from lust to murder. We need God's help with ALL of it!
The church in Sardis was told their deeds were incomplete, they may have stood on past successes but God said they aren't done. They had a reputation of life but were spiritually dead.
We spoke about being spiritually dead or on "spiritual life support."
The church in Philadelphia was a revival style church. We spoke about revival and how it starts with the individual. It's different from NEW life in Christ but is the REVIVE-al of something that used to be. How do you get that fire back? Go back to the prescription Jesus gave Ephesus, REMEMBER how it was, REPEAT what you used to do for Jesus, and REPENT of your sinful ways.
We concluded with Laodicea, the lukewarm church discussing how disgusting it is to Jesus and to nonbelievers when our faith is in name only.
For next time we will discuss chapters 5 and 6 (which are only a few pages long.)