July 6, 2021

The Church at Thyatira

Speaker: Noah Hartmetz Series: Revelation Scripture: Revelation 2:18–29


  • (1:9-20) Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, is the Sovereign and the Hope of His churches

  • (2:1-7) Ephesus: Loveless Orthodoxy

    • Commends faithful endurance in the true faith

    • Commands repentance for failure to love God and people

    • Repent or face the judgment of removal of the church

    • To the Overcomer: You will eat from the tree of life in the Paradise of God

  • (2:8-11) Smyrna: Persecution

    • Remain faithful in present afflictions in view of future reward

    • To the Overcomer: You will not be hurt by the second death

  • (2:12-17) Pergamum: False Teaching Allowed Access to the Church

    • Commends faithful in the midst of extreme opposition

    • Commands repentance for tolerating idolatrous and syncretistic false teaching

    • Repent or face the Judge

    • To the Overcomer: You will be provided for and admitted to the great Messianic feast

1A. (2:18) Introduction: Son of God (King; 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 2:7), eyes like a flame of fire (penetrating vision; Dan 10:6), feet like gleaming bronze (purity for His people; Ezk 1:7)

2A. (2:19-23) Knowledge of the church’s condition

1B. (2:19) Commendation: Growth in Christian Virtue

2B. (2:20-23) Rebuke: Toleration of idolatrous teaching

1C. (2:20) His Accusation: You tolerate Jezebel (note OT Roots; cf. “Babylon the Great” Rev 14:8; 17:1-5; 18:3, 9)

2C. (2:21a) His Initial Response toward her (church discipline)

3C. (2:21b) Her Unwilling Response

4C. (2:22-23a) His Sentencing without Repentance

5C. (2:23b) Implications for the churches: 

1D. Don’t tolerate false teaching because nothing is hidden from Jesus.

2D. Don’t tolerate false teaching because Jesus will recompense each one’s works.

3A. (2:24-25) Exhortation to the Rest in the Church

1B. (2:24a) Character: Faithfulness of the Recipients of this Exhortation

2B. (2:24b-25) Command: Do nothing more than hold fast until Jesus comes

4A. (2:26-28) Promises to the overcomer

1B. (2:26b-28a) Share in “Son of God” ruling authority over the nations (cf. Ps 2:7; Luke 19:16-19)

2B. (2:28b) Share in God’s complete redemption in Christ (Gen 49:10; Num 24:17; Isa 60:1-3; cf. 11:9-10)

5A. (2:29) Command for the churches to listen

Implications from Pergamum and Thyatira:

  • Passages that address the theme of false teaching and its effects (2 Cor; Gal; 2 Tim 3; 2 Pet 2; Jude)

  • What produces toleration of false teaching?

    • General fear of man (Gal 2:12)

    • Neglect of contending for the faith (Jude 3)

    • Neglect of practicing church discipline (3 John 9-10; 1 Tim 5:19-20; 2 Cor 12:11b cf. 11:4, 21 [Paul should’ve been commended, but because the false teachers had made such inroads, the church kicked him out!])

    • Partiality (cf. 1 Tim 5:21)

    • Ignorance about what produces genuine unity (Eph 4:15-16; John 17:17, cf. vv. 20-21)

    • Underestimating the importance of sound doctrine (Eph 4:13-14)

    • Spiritual laziness (contrast Col 2:8; Heb 3:12ff; cf. Heb 5:11-14)

    • Underestimating Jesus’ desire for a pure church (2 Cor 11:2)

    • Being unaware of Satan’s schemes (i.e., he doesn’t often slip in false teaching via essential doctrines, but more often via secondary doctrines; 2 Cor 11:3; cf. Gal 2:12-14)

    • Desire to be liked and commended by the world (but see 2 Cor 6:14-18)

  • How do we protect ourselves against false teaching?

    • Faithful teaching that brings clarity (2 Cor 4:2), is grounded in conviction (2 Cor 4:13), and gives attention to detail (2 Tim 2:15)

    • Attentive listening that joins what is heard with faith (Heb 2:1) and puts self under the microscope of God’s word (cf. Heb 4:12-13)

    • Appoint Titus 1:9 elders: “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”

    • Do not neglect to receive or to give correction (2 Cor 3:12-13; Eph 4:15)

  • What are the benefits of sound doctrine?

    • Stability in life (2 Thess 2:1-2; Titus 2; 3:1-3)

    • Strength of faith (2 Tim 2:14b, 18)

    • Assurance of salvation (1 Tim 4:16)

    • Enjoyment of life (1 Tim 4:1-5)

other sermons in this series