Imagine that you had a daughter who deeply loved the Lord and was the apple of your eye. After she left the nest she began attending a church where the pastor was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He invited her and a select number from his church to a class that would be “like a seminary class.” Instead, it was designed to lead them away from historic Christianity.
That is Alisa Childer’s story. Yet God rescued Alisa and she wrote what I named my book of the year last Christmas. (Another Gospel). She has become a wonderful apologist with helpful podcasts. Later this week you may listen to an excellent interview of Alisa by Colin Hansen. (Link below) It will help you discern this Jezebel seduction, which we see in the church of Thyatira and is still with us, though like a chameleon, changes colors to fit the culture. In Hansen’s interview of Childers, you’ll gain discernment for yourself and for the next generation. You will also see how, with the rise of the internet, more and more wolves in sheep’s clothing have been given a voice, authors like Jan Hatmaker and Rachel Held Evans. As John wrote in his letter, which is becoming clearer to me in realizing Revelation is for now, “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.” (1 John 2:18) https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/podcasts/gospelbound/why-progressive-christianity-cant-bring-reformation/
Alisa’s godly parents must have been so thankful to the Christ of the blazing eyes and the bronzed trampling feet who came to rescue Alysa from this wolf. Read the following short article by Alysa Childers pointing out 5 red flags of “progressive” Christianity.
This church in Thyatira was being poisoned by false teaching. And because the 7 churches are us, it is still happening. Progressive Christianity (progressing “beyond” the truths of the blood, the cross, and the gospel) has crept right into many evangelical churches that claim to be Christian.
Satan is not just a wolf, but a seductress. Jesus, in Revelation 2:20, alludes to Jezebel, the seductress of the Old Testament who led many astray and had prophets of God killed.
There is an element of seduction in false teaching, which Christ equates with spiritual adultery. Not giving allegiance to the idols of the day can be costly in income, power, and popularity. How often I have seen young people seduced because they don’t want to stop living with their significant other, or they want to be free to engage in a same-sex relationship, or they fear being looked down upon by their friends. They are being told, you can still be a Christian, yet not have to pay the cost of holy living. Bonhoeffer called this “cheap grace.”
Homework Word Document: # 6Thyatira’s Poison
On Tuesday, many of you will want to watch the following 5 minute video of our own Rebecca by clicking below and scrolling to the bottom of the page:
Sunday: Getting Started
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- In the short article by Alisa Childers, what are some signs of Progressive Christianity?
Monday: Eyes Like Blazing Fire, Feet Like Burnished Bronze
3. Read Revelation 2:18-29 aloud.
A. To whom is the letter addressed? (Rev. 2:18)
B. How is Jesus described? What might this be especially relevant to Thyatira?
(This is an allusion to the vision Daniel had in Daniel 10:6)
C. For what are they commended?
D. For what are they rebuked?
E. How are they to respond to this rebuke?
F. Find both the warning and the promises.
4. Read the first two paragraphs in Mystery Explained under The Church at Thyatira and share what stands out to you. (In the kindle, stop when you get to “Yet the church at Thyatira, like the church at Pergamum…”
We must remember the power of prayer for our loved ones. When Satan tries to seduce them and twist the truth, we have a Christ who sees, who comes running to trample liars with bronzed feet. I have seen God do that for my children, and I often think of the Living Bible Translation of Psalm 116: Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!”
5. Briefly share a way God has answered prayer for ones you love to encourage us all.
Jezebel led people astray through seduction. The Old Testament prophets often compared idol worship to spiritual adultery. I know, for me, understanding that sin wasn’t just breaking a rule but breaking a heart was convicting. It was also a helpful picture because I realized that what I needed to do was to turn from my false lover (food, or the praise of man, or whatever) and run instead to God, trusting Him to meet my need. Our own Rebecca gave such a wonderful testimony to this — which many of you have seen, but many have not. If you haven’t seen it click on the link in the introduction and share your thoughts.
6. Comments on Rebecca’s insight into overcoming spiritual adultery.
7. Read again Revelation 2:20-23. In Mystery Explained, read the next 4 paragraphs beginning with “Yet the Church at Thyatira” (stop at “If the warnings…” in kindle) and answer:
A. Why might alignment with Christ cause loss to business owners in Thyatira? How might it cost us today?
B. How will Christ judge Jezebel and her followers?
C. Closely connected with Jezebel is the counterfeit church (Babylon) and the counterfeit Holy Spirit (the false prophet). Dr. Campbell says these pictures are meant to shock Christians and prevent them from compromising. How do they impact you?
D. Share anything else that stands out to you from these 4 paragraphs.
Wednesday: Warnings and Encouragements
8. Finish Dr. Campbell’s section under The Church at Thyatira and share anything that stands out to you.
9. The promise of being given “The Morning Star” to those who persevere is a reference to Christ Himself, the “bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:16) He guides us through the darkness to our home with Him. Praise Him here.
Thursday/Friday: Colin Hansen Interview with Alisa Childers
10. Share what you learned that you want to remember! Also, any comments.
11. What is your take-a-way this week and why?