Revelation (6 of 24) Letters To The Churches Of Thyatira And Sardis

2:18-3:6 Letters To The Churches Of Thyatira And Sardis

Memory Verse: Revelation 3:5

2:18 Jesus Has A Message For The Church Of Thyatira

  • 2:18a Jesus tells John to write to the fourth church, Thyatira, by addressing the letter to the angel (pastor) who will deliver it to the church. This church is only mentioned here in Revelation. The city was a prosperous commerce center located on a main road.
  • 2:18b Jesus starts His letter by clarifying it is He who is speaking: “These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass.” Jesus is the Son of God. His eyes of fire probably represent His omniscience and His feet of brass represent judgement, that is to say, He is the all-knowing One who has the authority to judge His church. We should listen carefully.

2:19 Jesus Praises The Church Of Thyatira

  • 2:19 Jesus praises the church for their works, charity, service, faith, and patience. This church was full of good works. They were loving and serving God and others. They were being faithful and steadfast as their good works continued to grow more and more.
    Hebrews 6:10

2:20-28 Jesus Criticizes And Challenges The Church Of Thyatira

  • 2:20, 24b Jesus criticizes the church because: (1) They allowed a woman to teach, which violates the role of women in the church. (2) They allowed this false prophetess to teach wrong doctrine. (3) They allowed her to seduce believers to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. (4) They were involved in what some call the deep things of Satan.
    1 Kings 16:30-31
  • 2:21-23a Jesus gave this false prophetess time to repent, but she refused, therefore Jesus will judge and cast her into hell (bed). Jesus gives her followers a chance to repent. If they refuse to repent then the unbelieving followers are threatened with death and believers who are deceived by her false teaching will go through great tribulation because they are living in sin.
  • 2:23b Jesus’ judgement will cause all the churches to know that He is the one who searches mind and heart, and will give to each person according to their works. He won’t judge those who aren’t guilty, but He will judge sin.
    Romans 2:6
  • 2:24-25 Jesus comforts the believers who aren’t involved in this false teaching and challenges them to “hold fast” until He comes. Jesus knows the burden they are carrying because of the false teaching, so He doesn’t add to it but tells them to keep doing what is right even if it is hard.
  • 2:26-29 Believers (the one who conquers) are testified by their works and will be given authority by Jesus to rule over the nations in His millennial kingdom. They will also be given the “morning star,” which most likely represent Jesus Himself.
    Psalm 2:7-9; Revelation 22:16; 1 Corinthians 13:12

3:1 Jesus Has A Message For The Church Of Sardis

  • 3:1a Jesus tells John to write unto the fifth church, Sardis, by addressing the letter to the angel (pastor) who will deliver it to the churches. This church is only mentioned here in Revelation. The city was a prosperous metropolis at the foot of a mountain.
  • 3:1b Jesus starts His letter, first by clarifying it is He who is speaking: “These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars.” The seven Spirits of God refer to the Holy Spirit and the seven stars are the leaders of the churches. Jesus works in His churches through the Holy Spirit. Leaders in the church should lead according to His sovereign rule.

3:1c-6 Jesus Criticizes And Challenges The Church Of Sardis

  • 3:1c, 2b Jesus doesn’t praise the church like He did with the previous five churches, but instead pronounces the church as dead. The church had a name and reputation of being alive or a church that was doing right, but Jesus said they were living a lie and are actually a dead church. Jesus said their works were not complete before God.
  • 3:2a, 3 Jesus advises the church to do five things: (1) “Be watchful,” meaning they need to be awake and alert to their spiritual condition. (2) ”Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die,” meaning they need to strengthen those spiritual areas that aren’t dead yet. (3) “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,” meaning they need to remember the teaching they were first taught, the Apostles’ doctrine and the truths of the Bible. (4) “Hold fast,” meaning they need to keep doing what is right even though it is hard. (5) “Repent,” meaning they need to turn from their “deadness” to start living according to and for the greatness of their God. If they would do these things God would bring spiritual revival to this dead church. If they didn’t heed Jesus warning, then He would quickly judge them and they would cease to be a church. (This also works individually. If you think your spiritual life is dead and cold, follow the five steps above.)
  • 3:4 There was a small remnant of believers in the church (whom Jesus praises) who weren’t characterized by this deadness. They aren’t living lives of sin (defiled their garments). They will be rewarded and walk with Jesus in righteousness (in white).
  • 3:5-6 Believers (He that overcometh) will be clothed in righteousness (clothed in white raiment) as we participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb. A believer’s name will never be blot out of the book of life, but Jesus will confess his name before God and the angels. This should comfort believers that we are eternally secure. If you are willing, you need to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. If you are not a believer, today, repent and believe. If you are a believer but your spiritual life isn’t on fire for God, then today rekindle that fire and start living the victorious Christian life. Let’s not be a dead church…impressive from the outside but no Spiritual life on the inside.
    Revelation 19:7–9; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 13:8; 17:8; 20:12; 21:27

Review Questions

  • Who is writing the letter to the churches?
  • Why does each church receive praise?
  • Why does each church receive criticism?
  • What was the challenges to the churches?
  • Who are overcomers and what will they be given?

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