A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
In our series of homilies from the book of Ephesians, we focused on reviving Christian families. Now, I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages from the book of Revelation, specifically targeted at reviving the church. If our country is to be awakened, the family and the church must be revived first.
TEXT: Revelation 2:18-21:
18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
A.T. Pierson said, “The supreme test of service is this: For whom am I doing this? Much that we call service to Christ is not such at all… If we are doing this for Christ, we shall not care for human reward or even recognition.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “It is my solemn conviction that the most glorious hour of the church has yet to be born. All the heroes of faith have not yet been listed. All the chapters of the church, ‘fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ have not yet been written. The greatest exploits of faith have yet to be done.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Elsewhere in Europe, the disciples of James Haldane during the Second Great Awakening became the carriers of revival throughout Europe, especially in Switzerland, France, and Holland. Various revivals were also reported in Germany despite the opposition from the Lutheran Church.”
Jesus has some high words of praise for the church at Thyatira. He says, “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience.” Up till now, in this series of letters, Jesus has commended no church solely on the basis of its works. It is significant that this comment goes to the smallest church in one of the smallest cities, telling us that a church does not have to be large to make an impact for the Lord. It is not just quantity of service that Jesus is looking for but quality of service, and it seems like the church at Thyatira has both in spades.
Jesus praises them for their work and their service to Him, to each other, and to the world. This sounds like the kind of church that had every ministry imaginable — soup kitchen, daycare, hospital visitation, afterschool care, food pantry, and more. They were busy for the Lord. But, more importantly, all of their good work was wrapped up in the Christlike spirit of charity, faith, and patience. They had love for the Lord and for their fellow man. They had faith that God would bring positive results out of their efforts. And they had patience as they waited on the Lord and as they dealt with the frustrations, faults, and foibles of the people in their community. The church today can learn from their example. We honor Christ not just by our works, but by doing our work in a spirit of love, faith, and patience.
Finally, we notice one other point of praise that the Lord has for the church at Thyatira. Not only were they doing good work, but their work was increasing in measure. Jesus says He has seen how the church’s latter works are greater than their former works. This church was not growing weary in well-doing or getting “charity fatigue” as we call it today. They were on fire in their service to the Lord, and getting hotter and hotter with time. Many churches, and Christians individually, need to get back to a life of abundant quality service for the Lord. We ought to be looking for ways to serve instead of trying to do as little as possible. May God set our hearts ablaze for Him and for His world.
Our attitude ought to be like that expressed in this poem by Theodore Chambers:
I am Your servant, o Lord my God
and will be till the day I die —
no matter the pain that I suffer,
no matter the tears that I cry
In knowing that You have my back,
while holding my heart in Your hand,
I promise to do all that You say.
I will head Your two great commands.
Now, I know that I’m no Jesus;
I’m not Moses, David, or Paul.
But I promise I’ll do my best
to give You my all and all.
I’ll tell the whole world about You,
Your Son and the Holy Spirit too.
I’ll show everyone how awesome You are
by the abundance of my service to You.
Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.