Sermons

Summary: What should we tolerate, and what should we be intolerant of?

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Churches of Revelation#3 - Thyatira

February 2006 • Chris Rowney

These messages are also available as audio podcasts at www.tcfnet.org.au/podcasts

“18 “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.

22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.

23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

24 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):

25 Only hold on to what you have until I come.

26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations--

27 ‘He will rule them with an iron sceptre; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’--just as I have received authority from my Father.

28 I will also give him the morning star.

29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Revelation 2:18-29, NIV.

Seven Churches introduction…

Return to the first love

Endure through Suffering

Remain True to the name (character) of Christ.

Thyatira gets it all… their deeds, their love, their faith, their endurance of suffering.. and not like the ‘backsliders’ in Ephesus they have done MORE now than at first, they have deepened their relationship and activity with God.

BUT.. so often there is a but.. all is not as it should be.

The Bible you have in front of you (if you have one) probably says they ‘tolerate that woman Jezebel’. Now I am not at all certain that is the best way to word that thought… but before I get into that a sidetrack we must deal with.

JEZEBEL.

Some history.

“30 Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him.

31 He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him.

32 He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria.”

1 Kings 16:30-32, NIV.

Now it is hardly right to say Jezebel caused Ahab to be a wicked King, but she certainly didn’t help.. in some later events she killed as many prophets of the Lord as she could lay her hands on (1 Kings 18:4)

And threatened Elijah after he had the showdown with the Baal Prophets on Mt Carmel. (who were her ‘pet’ prophets)

“19 “Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.””

1 Kings 18:19, NAS95.

“1 Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.

2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.””

1 Kings 19:1, 2, NAS95.

NOW.. I doubt that the lady in Thyatira was actually named Jezebel.. but rather was like Jezebel in that she taught ideas openly opposed to the Gospel they had accepted at first.

Her teaching seems to have included being involved in the ceremonies that explicitly worshipped the false Gods, and also in some way teaching that compromised the ideals for sexual behaviour that Christ taught and modeled.

(i.e. Celibacy outside of, and faithfulness inside of marriage)..

BY THE WAY : - the reason God has such expectations about sex is NOT because God thinks it bad, or to be avoided (and so he ‘limits’ when it can be ‘done’.. Not because sex is somehow LOW in the things God created

But because Sex, the union, physical/spiritual/emotional that is designed to take place is very HIGH in what God created… and to treat it lightly, to treat it wrongly robs it of the holiness and beauty it is designed to create.

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