Revelation 2:18-23 "And to the angel (pastor) of the church in Thyatira write: 'The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 "'I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 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 and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.
The pastor of this local church is known for his love, service, patient endurance, and increasing works, yet he tolerates a self-proclaimed prophetess who is leading people in the Thyatira local church into sexual immorality and idolatry. Jesus tells the pastor that He has given her time to repent, but she refuses. Jesus wants this pastor to discipline this woman and remove her from the church if she refuses discipline (see 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 for proper handling of this situation). The pastor for some reason continues to tolerate Jezebel’s presence in the church and people are being led astray. Jesus will discipline Jezebel with sickness and those who follow her with tribulation if the pastor fails to act according to the truth (see how Jesus disciplined the Corinthian believers in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32). All the churches will learn that Jesus does not tolerate sin and will strike unrepentant people claiming to be Christians dead, just as He did Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11. Jesus searches the minds and hearts of His people and will not tolerate sin for their own good and for His name’s sake.
Tolerating sin is not love. Disciplining sin is love. Are you tolerating sin in your family, in your local church? The loving thing to do is to gently rebuke a person’s sin and show him the way of correction. When we rebuke and correct a sinning person, the person usually is defensive, but later is thankful we dealt with his sin. If we don’t discipline those believers in our sphere of influence, Jesus will. The church is weak when it tolerates sin and harsh when it doesn’t deal with sin gently with the purpose of restoring the sinning person. True love follows Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
Jesus gives each person what his works deserve. What will you get, discipline or reward?