“But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality…” Revelation [2:20]
Jesus’ opening words affirmed the Christians of Thyatira for their “love and faith and service and patient endurance” ([2:19]). Yet, despite their growth and maturity, they were still capable of seduction. They weren’t above being enticed and baited toward the immediate pleasure and sensuality of sexual immorality.
Jezebel is a character from 1 Kings, who married King Ahab and violently enforced idolatrous worship in Israel. She represents egregious compromise amongst God’s people. Like King Ahab, the church in Thyatira compromised the truth. They tolerated sin when they should have called it out. They tolerated error when they should have corrected it. They welcomed wickedness when they should have drawn some hard boundaries.
Tolerance is a prized virtue in contemporary Western civilization. And while there are some good and godly ways to practice tolerance (e.g., welcoming people who are different from us, tolerating the shortcomings of others, etc.), the Lord also calls us to practice discernment, to discern the ways of the evil one and to not tolerate sin. In this letter to His people, Jesus uses His voice to shed light on sexual immorality. He won’t tolerate sin running rampant in His camp.
Father, forgive us for tolerating sin in our own lives. Give us wisdom and insight to the schemes of the Devil, and may we resist him by Your Spirit. Amen.