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Truth or Consequences

Words of Faith Final

Truth or Consequences

Words of Faith 11-27-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

www.faithfellowshipweb.com

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Revelation 2

        [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.

 

        Tolerance had run amuck in Thyatira. It was creating a disaster in that fellowship, just as it does in many churches today. Tolerance can become its own idol, worshiped by some at the expense of all other truth. When this happens, there is a consequence. 

        Now, we don’t want to misunderstand. Tolerance is a really good thing when understood in the right way. Tolerance is central to the definition of love that we find in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). All of those are the godly qualities of tolerance.

        We want to be tolerant of the right things. When dealing with neighbors and friends who need Christ.  When dealing with people who are still growing in Christ. When dealing with customs that are different from my own. When encountering a worship style that is different from what I am used to. When dealing with “disputable matters” within the church (Romans 14:3-10) …we need to be tolerant.

         We should be tolerant people, but, of course, there are some actions we don’t tolerate— abuse of children, the weak, bigotry, or abuse of power. Those are not matters at stake here. 

         The problem is when the Enemy uses tolerance to open the door to false teaching or tolerance denies the power of the Gospel to set people free, it destroys people and families. Misapplied tolerance can become a “slippery slope” where we thought we were safe but lose traction. It ends in a freefall.

         Misapplied tolerance is like a deceptive current on a river. Have you ever been river rafting on a river like the Chattooga, Nantahala, Colorado— or Arkansas? There are places where, on the surface, the water appears to be moving so peacefully. The water seems almost still on the surface, but the experienced guide will warn you not to go into these waters. If you get in the water near the edge, you hardly feel a thing. The river seems friendly and kind. But suddenly, there is a point at which the enormous force of the water is much more than you can handle.

          Apparently, the one referred to as Jezebel had been swept into the strong currents of the Enemy. She had been pulled into things that are intolerable to God, and through her teaching, others were being swept in.

         The truth is that there are consequences. The Lord was plain that this "Jezebel" had been given the opportunity to repent but had refused. Sadly, the result was significant suffering. There was some sickness that arose out of this immorality in Thyatira. We don't know the specifics, but we are quite aware of diseases and emotional suffering resulting from abusing sexuality.

           The Lord was calling Thyatira to repentance. Repent from sexual immorality and idolatry. Failure to repent would bring a harsh consequence. This false teacher would be thrown onto a sickbed, and her "children," referring to her followers or disciples, would be struck down.

            Jesus concluded this thought with this declaration: 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 (23b). I search the mind and the heart— what you think and what you feel. I know what you do. I will give to you according to your works. You are saved by grace, but there is a reckoning for disobedience rooted in misapplied tolerance.

           The Apostle Paul put this plainly in his letter to the Galatians. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8)

 

           Father God, shape my heart. Make me tolerant of the things You tolerate. Make me intolerant of the things You refuse to tolerate. Give me clarity that keeps me clear of the slippery slope and away from hidden currents. May I sow only to please the Spirit and so reap eternal life.  In the Name of Jesus.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.