40 blogs of Lent – Day 16
Hold on fast
Messages to the churches – Day 15
Thyatira – Day 3
I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. … But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come.
A commendation here. Not everybody has compromised their faith.
It is difficult not to go along with the crowd, when everybody is doing something, being in the minority can be a hard place to be. In businesses which use non ethical means of getting money, how do you manage as an employee? If it is a church, then what? How do you go on if the church leadership is compromising with society is saying?
Being faithful was what this church did right. Not only were they faithful in doing what God had them prepared to do, but their good works had increased. God just asked them to hold fast, not to get compromised, even in a city where to get a really good salary meant compromising. They have to hold on because holding on is difficult. It is like the straight and narrow road in Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress. Sometimes this is the hardest road of all, but we have to remember that we have not been called to an easy life. Following Jesus means losing your life in some parts of the world, and being discriminated against as far as employment is concerned in many others. Following god, for the majority of Christians, means persecution to an extent that seems unthinkable here in the west, where a little ridicule and mainly indifference.
We need to hold on fast because life is not like a great worship service, where you come out full of the presence of God still singing his praise. If you’re lucky this may last until Tuesday, if it was very good until Wednesday. But life is not like a worship service all the time, sometimes church isn’t like that either. God is looking for faithful people and that faithfulness is tested at times when we do not feel God’s presence with us. It is at these times when we need to remember God’s goodness, love and faithfulness. It is at these times when the temptation to compromise comes in. Not a big thing, just turn a blind eye to what is happening in the office, about some dodgy business practice that those above you do. You might miss out on some future promotion if you say something that isn’t liked.
Another take on holding on fast is here:
And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practise sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.