Allen Raynor Weblog: “Thyatira: The Corrupt Church” (Pt. 2)
(July 29, 2019)
There is always hope with the Lord if people will only repent. But, stubborn human pride works so hard to keep people from doing so. Satan deceives people into thinking they do not need to repent. In Asia Minor, there was considerable satanic influence going on. Satan was not only wishing the church to fail, he was actively working to cause it to fail.
In 1 Corinthians 2:10 we read about “The deep things of God.” Contrast that with the phrase “The depths of Satan” found here in this address to Thyatira. The issues with the wicked woman Jesus calls “Jezebel” is not a minor thing. It was utterly Satanic in nature. In some twisted delusion they evidently thought they could be free to explore the Satanic realm and then come and worship God! It was an ugly tragic attempt at synchronizing two things which were totally incompatible. Jesus tells them simply to “hold fast” to what they have and what they know to be right until He comes. This is His message for every church in every age, to “hold fast” to what is right until He comes.
In verses 26-29 there is a promise to overcomers as opposed to those who were falling prey to immorality. The promise is to give them great power. True believers will exercise authority over the nations, ruling with a rod of iron. This authority comes from the Father. The value of this privilege is inestimable.
The “Morning Star” refers to Christ Himself. For the overcoming believer, Christ’s presence is the light in the dark and difficult times before the Son’s coming. Things may seem bad now, in this world and in terms of persecution, but it will be ramped up even more on the church with each day that draws closer to the end of time and Christ’s return. It is impossible to know just how bad things might get before the rapture takes place. But, we do know that the Lord will rescue us out of this world and we will not perish with it. God is never early and never late. He is always on time. He is perfect in all things. To those who “have ears to hear” let us/them hear what the Lord is saying to the churches and to us today.
As we move closer and closer to that day, more and more people, churches, and denominations are compromising on issues to which the Bible speaks clearly. Growing number of Christians, for the first time in the history of the church, are becoming accepting of premarital and extramarital sex, homosexuality, cohabitation, recreational drug use, abortion, obscene language, and subtle, yet very real, forms of idolatry such as the worship of sports, possessions, careers, social status, money, and a variety of things money can buy. Many social ills can be linked back to corruption and compromise within the church with full understanding the church is made up of people who have sinful natures and often engage in sinful behavior.
At a time when the need is greater for biblical truth, fewer churches are preaching it without compromise and even in the places where it is being faithfully proclaimed, vast numbers of people are absent in their attendance, hearing only a message here and there with no consistency. We live in a day and time where the majority of people on the church rolls break the first four of The Ten Commandments on a regular basis with little concern about doing so. It is little wonder the church is viewed as increasingly impotent in public discourse. Our doctrine says God is important, but our behavior says He is not important. Nothing distinguishes a corrupt church any more than behaviorally choosing the world over and above God with little or no shame in doing so. The portrait of God shown to the world by the modern church is often a false one but it is the perfect depiction Satan wants on display.
Satan, and the world will lose in the end, but right now they are growing stronger and stronger with a lot of help from the modern church. Satan is empowered by corruption and compromise within the church. Every church member must decide who they are going to put first. It is not only awkward to try and put God and Satan first, but it is impossible. You must love the one and hate the other or hate the one and love the other.
Dr. Allen Raynor, Pastor