The Letter to the Church in Thyatira in a Nutshell
Jesus the one whose eye are like fire and has feet like bronze tells the church in Thyatira that He knows their works. That they have love, faithfulness, service, and endurance. More than that the works they do now are more than when they started. However, they are tolerating or allowing Jezebel to teach their people and she is leading them astray into sexual immorality and idol worship. He is giving her a chance to repent but she will not. He also knows that not all are following her and commends them for this.
There is again a lot going on here. The church in Thyatira is like the reverse of the church in Ephesus. Instead of being tight in theology and lacking in love they are big on love and lacking theology. They are devoted to love and serving those in need. The church is feeding the homeless, giving backpacks to kids for school, teaching skills to the underprivileged, and doing many other acts of love in Jesus name. Not only that they are doing more than they have ever done before. These people understood what it was to love like Jesus. They were committed to the cause of Christ. But there is a problem; they were severely lacking in doctrine.
The church in Thyatira for as good as they were had let in Jezebel and allowed her to lead them astray into sexual immorality and idol worship. If you have read the Bible at all then you might go oh no, and if you haven’t then you might not see the big deal. Jezebel is synonymous with total debauchery, corruption, or depravity. If you call someone a Jezebel then it is a high insult. That is the person the church had let in and was allowing to teach. Jesus said you get the love and that is great but I will not let you go on with this teaching.
We should really look at Thyatira and Ephesus together. We have some churches that are all about truth and some churches that are all about love. Jesus says you need both because I am both. Jesus says in John 8:32 you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. 1 John 4:8 says God is love. Romans 8:29 says we are to be transformed into the image of His (God’s) Son. God is truth, God is love, and God wants us to be like Jesus. That means being truth and love. We cannot be so dogmatic that we place demands on people that God never placed on them, but we cannot let people think it is OK to go on sinning and living like they are not saved. It is a balance just like raising children.
Some say, “people should be allowed to do what they feel is right.” Well no that is not true, and in fact, that is just flat out wrong. If that was the case we would not have laws. Like I said with children it is a balance. My daughter will have a much better relationship with her mother if she is respectful. They will laugh and play and have a grand ole time. However, if she is being disrespectful then they will have conflict so my part of my job is to make sure she is respectful so she can have joy in the relationship. That means boundaries and rules because I love her and want her to enjoy the fullness.
I bet if Ephesus and Thyatira got together they would have a dynamite church but they were too busy thinking their thing was the most important thing. Maybe we should listen to the Spirit and be the most loving caring people out there who are wise enough to know what is true and what is false regardless of personal preference but are careful to love everyone just like Jesus does.
Just a thought,