Sunday 26th November 2023
Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, “I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.”
Revelation 2:24 (NIV)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
You will no doubt be relieved to hear that I do not intend to keep using this space to comment on what happened at the Church of England’s General Synod last week (at least not beyond this week). However, I feel there are some useful things to share with you. One is a helpful summary of what actually happened and what will happen next, which you can find here. The other is an encouraging article by Ros Clarke in the Church Society newsletter, in which she comments on the words of the risen Lord Jesus Christ to the church in Thyatira in Revelation 2:
“Thyatira was a church full of love and faith, of active service and perseverance. There were many there who held to the true gospel. But they were a tolerant church and that was the cause of the Lord’s anger: they tolerated teaching of ‘Jezebel’ which led to sexual immorality. Without repentance, those who taught this and were caught up in the teaching were made to suffer intensely, even to death.
“We are the 21st century Thyatira, a church in which there is true love and faith, service and perseverance, in which many are holding fast to the true gospel. But for many years now, teaching which leads to sexual immorality has been tolerated in our church. No doubt, there will be suffering to come.
“What did Christ require of the Thyatirans? Hold on to what you have until I come. What does Christ require of us? Hold on to what we have until he comes.
“Hold on to the true gospel: do not waver from it in your faith, your life, your preaching and your ministry.
Hold on to the fellowship you have been given: do not give up meeting together with your brothers and sisters in Christ, in the place God has brought you to.
Hold on to the hope of Christ: do not despair for he is building his church and he will return in glory.
And she ends with these words of encouragement: “There is certainly much to lament and much to resist, but there is also much to hope for – just as there was in Thyatira:
“To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (verses 26-28)
Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister)