Sunday, August 6, 2017

Modern Jezebel

Modern Jezebel
August 7, 2017
Revelation 2:22  "So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways."

As Jesus wrote to each of the seven churches, through the apostle John, He was specific, not just to state His concerns for each church, but to express His level of frustration. Recall the church in Pergamum, whom Jesus reminded He was standing there with His sword ready to use it. His emotion had risen to the level of action, on the edge of destruction. To the church of Thyatira, however, He was being rather patient with them. He reminded them that His eyes were burning like fire and feet like burnished bronze. He was suggesting that anger was in His eyes and that His feet were ready to march toward them. He was warning them, a cautionary measure because they were being deceived by someone else, someone who was akin to the devil's wife.

The church in Thyatira apparently knew better, but their spiritual laziness and apathy caused them to be deceived by Jezebel. Jesus called this deceiving prophet Jezebel, but was it the actual Jezebel in the Old Testament, in the time of Elijah? Jezebel had been dead for hundreds of years when Jesus dictated these letters to John. Jesus was using the name Jezebel to reference an allegory to what happened in the real story of Jezebel's life. Recall she had such sway over her husband that she forced her religious practices to replace the ones of the Hebrews, to replace the rules the Lord had put in place. Jezebel's husband was weak and succumbed to her control, doing things he knew in his heart were wrong. While she was not considered a prophet back then, she hired hundreds of false prophets and made sure she was their head and leader. Jezebel had such strong influence that eventually the pagan practices took over and there was no ounce of the Lord's standards or teachings or practices in place.

Jesus said this church, the church in Thyatira, was allowing itself to be lazy enough to tolerate bad religious practices, which in turn were driving out true Christianity, the true teachings of Christ. Jesus knew that if left unchecked, eventually there would be no ounce of Christianity, just the bad practices the church had tolerated and let creep inside. I would submit to you that most churches today, while their hearts were in the right place at the start, have tolerated, because of spiritual laziness, poor behaviors that don't embody the epitome of the Lord.  Jesus said Jezebel's fate had already been sealed but was giving the church an opportunity to get it right.  He said the deceit in the church of Thyatira was with regard to sexual practices, the same genre of deceit Jezebel let into the church. One such modern day deceitful practice is allowing those who profess homosexuality into church leadership. There isn't anything in Scripture to support this practice, in fact quite the opposite. Our churches today have different problems than churches from hundreds of years ago, however still relevant to the analogy of Jezebel.

When we become lazy in confronting these deceptive practices, we tolerate them into becoming mainstream in our lives and churches. Though the sins of Thyatira might be different in manifestation, the deceit in the church was and is the same today. Today, the same genre would be things like: co habitation among any generation, divorce among church leaders, un-repented divorces among church members, and homosexuality. When was the last time you heard your pastor take a firm stance on any of these topics from the pulpit? Likely, the politically correct stance is to avoid it so as not to offend anyone. But Jesus said this spiritual laziness was causing His eyes to burn with fire.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:   1 King 16:29-33, 1 Cor 5:10-12, 1 Cor 6:8-20, 1 Tim 1:9-11, Revelation 2

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