The fourth church that the Apostle John wrote to was the church at Thyatira. What starts out as a glowing review, suddenly reveals that there is serious trouble in the camp:

19 I know all that you’ve done for me—your love and faith, your ministry and steadfast perseverance. In fact, you now excel in these virtues even more than at the first. 20 But I have this against you: you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is seducing my loving servants. She is teaching that it is permissible to indulge in sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have waited for her to repent from her vile immorality, but she refuses to do so. 22 Now I will lay her low  with terrible distress along with all her adulterous partners if they do not repent. 23 And I will strike down her followers with a deadly plague.  Then all the congregations will realize that I am the one who thoroughly searches the most secret thought  and the innermost being. I will give to each one what their works deserve. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira who don’t adhere to the teachings of Jezebel and have not been initiated into deep satanic secrets,  I say to you (without laying upon you any other burden):25 Cling tightly  to all that you have until I appear. 26 To everyone who is victorious and continues to do my works to the very end I will give you authority over the nations 27 to shepherd them with a royal scepter. And the rebellious will be shattered as clay pots— 28 even as I also received authority from the presence of my Father. I will give the morning star to the one who experiences victory. 29 So the one whose heart is open let him listen carefully to what the Spirit is presently saying to all the churches. Revelation 2:19-29 (TPT)

Imagine to be brought to the front of the church, hearing such positive words, your heart bursting with pride; when all of a sudden out comes something that you thought no one knew about. Something you thought would never touch you, after all it isn’t you that it is doing it – it’s her! You thought if you just kept going about doing good and not paying attention to what else was going on that everything would be fine. Well, now you know, it’s not fine. The sin that you have been trying to ignore, is right there staring you in the face, and threatening all that you have worked for. All of a sudden your joy turns to defeat. What can you do?

Then all of a sudden you hear some words that cause a little light to shine in your darkness. You hear that if you continue to do the works of the One who sent you, and don’t get entrapped in the clutches of Jezebel and company, that you will gain an authority that will spread even over the nations. You hear that for the one whose heart is open, that pays attention to what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to the churches, that they will not only experience victory, but also the "morning star"!

There is comfort in those words. There is hope. There is also strength for you begin to realize that God is not holding you account for the sins of others, He is holding you account to the deeds done in your body. You always wondered if God would deal with the wicked, if they would ever be called to account for what they were doing. Hearing the words of the Chief Shepherd it really doesn’t matter what the consequence will be for the others, you heard the words of your Savior beckoning you to continue to come…and it is only His words that you will respond to.

Maria