As I read the conditions of the seven churches, I realize that today’s churches, if they are honest, can identify with some of the actions in each of the seven churches in Revelation. I am going to speak to the challenge in the church in Thyatira. My church has been in transition for the past 18 months as we are seeking a senior pastor. During this time, we have been under the leadership of an interim pastor who has been a true blessing to our church family. He is teaching and challenging us, and I have seen the love and commitment to one another blossom and the faith of the congregation has become stronger than it has been in a while. The congregational care of our members, regular attendees, and our sick and shut-ins has improved, and the commitment to the community has become a noticeable priority.
However, there is not a lot of direct teaching addressing sexual immorality of any kind (this issue precedes the interim pastor). Sometimes the world’s view regarding sex seems to have overshadowed what we know to be the truth of scripture. We love and take care of members who find themselves in these situations, but we must somehow address this spiritually debilitating issue before it affects the lives of so many, not only in our congregation, but congregations and communities everywhere. Some excuses heard are, “We will pray for them.” or “People these days are going to do what they want to do no matter what you tell them.” or “God will have to change their hearts.” Those who truly love must be willing to take the chance to address the uncomfortable.
When the church does not address the tough issues such as sexual immorality, the church’s growth can be stagnated. God will hold his people accountable for not being obedient in teaching His truth, no matter how difficult or scary it may be to do so.
My hope is in the knowledge that we are growing as a church family and we are exhibiting a deeper desire to be the best we can be in all we are called to do. The congregation is pulling together and seems eager to become one in Christ. This interaction increases our trust in one another. I believe this atmosphere will make it less stressful when having to address the tough topics. In doing this, we as the body of Christ will be blessed beyond measure and ultimately God will be glorified.