Session 5 Recap: Kevin DeYoung, "Thyatira"

Editor’s Note: Chris Promersberger is the Lead Pastor at Mountain Valley Church in East Mountains, NM. He is a member of the Albuquerque Chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This post is a summary of Kevin DeYoung’s message from Saturday afternoon at Clarus, March 2, “Thyatira” from Revelation 3.


“Tolerance” - is a huge buzz word in our culture, and yet it seems that in many churches, just like in Thyatira, there is an emphasis on tolerance that becomes over-tolerance. Tolerance can be good, but this is not the good kind.

The Good

The words of Jesus demonstrate that Thyatira was good when it comes to works, service, and love. It may have even been the kind of church that when you walk in you feel like you belong.

The Bad

In their attempt to focus on love they began to tolerate everything. Thyatira adopted the mindset that love equals unconditional affirmation. Worse yet, they allowed this openness to be taught in and throughout the church. Their message was one of blind love and undiscerning openness.

This led to an acceptance of an idolatrous woman with erroneous influence. Revelation calls her Jezebel to draw the readers mind back to the OT story. While this woman wasn’t actually Jezebel her influence was leading the church astray. The church was allowing someone like that to have sway over their people. The message in Thyatira that was being perpetuated would be more akin to just adding Jesus to your life. Believe in Jesus, but don’t worry about changing your behavior. This allowance of things like idolatry and sexual immorality might be best summarized in the words of David Wells, “worldliness is whatever makes sin look normal and righteous look strange.”

The message that was being left out was the message of repentance to which the church is reminded that Jesus is the one “who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.” The message of Jesus in this letter is that if your tolerance goes unchecked, Jesus is going to check it.

Josiah Belflower