By Ryan Shaw
In Revelation chapters 2 & 3, we find Jesus’ seven letters to seven historic, real churches all found in modern-day western Turkey. A great purpose of these letters is Jesus revealing the qualities and attributes He seeks for His body throughout all time and space.
The letters highlight areas believers and churches are meant to pursue and contend for, while also rebuking and warning of a variety of issues we are to remain free from. These churches provide real examples we are meant to observe and learn from.
Several important areas to flee from are highlighted throughout, yet one in particular continues to show up. It is the area of sexual immorality.
Throughout the New Testament we hear the call to be set apart when it comes to sexual purity. Why are several of the letters to the seven churches dealing with the sin of sexual immorality?
Because as we come nearer to the return of Christ and the end of the age the sexual perversion around us globally is only going to get worse. We are already seeing this escalation before our eyes. God knows the intense power of immorality to corrupt and hinder the human heart and spirit.
Sexual immorality opens a human being to all kinds of negative spiritual influences. God created us to enjoy sexuality in the confines of a loving, committed relationship between a husband and wife. Pursuing our needs outside of this relationship is a recipe for disaster.
It produces spiritual bondage as it opens our hearts to attacks on our lives in Christ. It hinders our sensitivity to God, numbing our hearts and spiritual capacities.
To the church of Thyatira, Jesus says, “I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”
As this church sought to grow in several critical areas, holiness was being laid aside. It allowed one of its own to teach surprising license related to morality without seeking to stop her.
Toleration is growing in the church globally. As the world becomes more globalized it appears that toleration will grow globally even faster. Toleration can be good when applied in the correct way but there is a very insidious tolerance that is anti-Christian brewing in the world today.
Taking a stand for any kind of sexual righteousness is seen as intolerant to those participating in sexual immorality. This is not the Lord’s heart. This means that in our churches it is going to become more politically correct to allow things to slide because we do not want to offend.
Jesus requires His church be a people growing in holiness even as He is perfectly holy. He who is without spot and blemish declares He is raising up a people throughout the earth who bear these same marks. We receive the enabling grace of the very life of Christ Himself to fill our own and give us power to become like Him in holiness.
It is not an hour to be swayed by political correctness nor well-meaning “Christians” who teach liberal ideas related to sexual immorality. We are taught by Christ Himself according to the Word of God, which is crystal clear on the subject.
Among a growing wicked generation globally and among a body of believers that often appears to be tolerating doctrinal error, immorality and all kinds of compromise, we are to hold fast with a strong grip to the name of Christ and stand firm in our Holy Spirit inspired convictions.