How we love people matters and what we believe about God matters. When a church compromises in either area, love or theology, we become something less than God intends for the church.
Thyatira was an economic powerhouse. Trade coming in from the port cities passed through to the east and goods passed through on their way to the ports. Their location put them smack dab in the center of a great deal of commerce and created a vibrant location for trades and businesses to thrive. All this is good. Everyone has to make a living – even Christians. But there was a problem… Roman trade guilds weren’t just connectional in nature; they were spiritual as well. Each guild had their own patron god and those associated with each guild would gather together, make sacrifices to their god and feast on the sacrificed meat. If you don’t participate, your business has little chance of making it. If you do participate, what witness does this set before the world? As a Christian, what do you do? The letter to the church in Thyatira is a heavy, harsh letter written to Christians who had chosen compromise over conviction and as loving as they were, presented the world a distorted understanding of who God is and who God had called them to be. If you’ve ever felt torn, if you’ve ever felt like your loyalties we’re divided, if you ever felt like you were stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to following God or culture, this week might be just for you. We hope this week encourages and equips you to live by faith and be known by love for the glory of God and the sake of the world.