Written Sermons

 

Meaning and Examples of Repentance Part 4

From the book of Revelation

The meaning of repentance

  1. Change of mind, re-calculate, re-do, or re-think

  2. To Turn from Sin

  3. Be Sorry for Sin

All through the bible including Revelation, repentance is taught as an important part of true salvation whether it is people who never before lived for the Lord in any way or from believers who failed. In Revelation chapter 2 and 3 we see believers in need of repentance recorded in the letters to the churches of that day but can apply to all churches in the future. Jesus Himself was speaking to us through those letters. We see many examples and also examples of those that reject or refuse to repent even in the face of God's judgment in the latter part of Revelation.

I am included part of chapter one as an introduction to Revelation although there are no examples of repentance there. It just reminds us how important the study of Revelation is and how blessed we are if we read and keep the words written within. So repentance would be part of the words we keep. It also shows us how the letters came about and who the letters are from.

  • Revelation 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 
    Rev 1:2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 
    Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 
    Rev 1:4  John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 
    Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 
    Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 
    Rev 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 
    Rev 1:8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.  

Verse 3 shows us clearly that this book is not to be ignored and written off as an allegory as some have done. This a prophecy and the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Verse 5 reminds us of the sacredness of the blood Jesus shed on our behalf. We are washed from our sins in His blood. This is important because to sin after we are saved with no repentance would be making light of or trampling the blood of Jesus.

  • Hebrews 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  

If we sin, we are to come to repentance. If we sin willfully without any repentance and begin to return to unbelief and take lightly what Jesus shed His own blood to save us from it is a dangerous place to be in.

The first church listed in the 2nd chapter of Revelation is the church at Ephesus. They had good works. They quickly spotted the fakes and evil ones who claimed to be apostles but were not. They labored abundantly, they were steadfast, unmovable and had much patience. They didn't give up. They held true doctrine and didn't waver from it. They hated the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. Some believed that to be those that exalted themselves above their brethren. The word Nicolaitan they believe meant suppression or control over the laity. Others believe that they were followers of a man called Nicolas who taught unholy practices. I won't go into that in depth here on that subject. This church in Ephesus  guarded the flock against false teachers and did all the right things, yet they had a problem.

  • Revelation 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 
    Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.  

We might take this lightly but love for the Lord, worship toward the Lord is very important. A love for our brothers and sisters in the Lord and a love for winning souls to the Lord is powerful and must be within us always without forsaking sound doctrine. Real love always corrects and does not compromise on important issues. They were commended for laboring for true sound doctrine. Yet without deep love, we lose our influence. Teachers, preachers, pastors and all believer must seek to always allow the Holy Spirit to shed the love of God within us and avoid hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, and vengeance. Important also is a deep love for God.

Actually these are the two commandments Jesus gave in the recording of the gospels. To love God with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves.

The remedy for this church was simply to repent and do the first works. A promise to them and all others that overcome was to one day eat of the tree of life.

The second church mentioned is the church at Smyrna. They were never commanded to repent because they had nothing said about them that was a reason to repent. They were heavily persecuted so much and suffered death for their faith in Christ. Jesus' final words to them and all was this:

  • Revelation 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.  

The next church is the church at Pergamum. They were a mess but still did not deny the faith and held onto His name. They did however have those that taught the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, they taught also the false doctrine of Balaam who enticed the children of Israel into fornication and idolatry. The remedy was the same again, to repent.

  • Revelation 2:16  Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 
    Rev 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.  

Another promise to overcomers was to eat of hidden manna and have a new name written in stone.

The next church in Thyatira had much charity, service, patience and works. This one's fate is scary. They had a chance to repent but did not repent.

  • Revelation 2:20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 
    Rev 2:21  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 
    Rev 2:22  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 
    Rev 2:23  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 
    Rev 2:24  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 
    Rev 2:25  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.  

They allowed false teachers, they allowed fornication and idolatry. There were some there that refuted the false doctrines and did not going along with the leadership and others that moved away from the truth. Jesus warns them to hold fast to what they had until He returns.

He ends His message to them with this:

  • Revelation 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 
    Rev 2:27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. 
    Rev 2:28  And I will give him the morning star. 
    Rev 2:29  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.  

The faithful shall rule and reign with Christ at His coming to set up His kingdom on earth.

The next church is the church at Sardis. This poor church is almost on it's last legs. Almost dead. They had the name only but they were dead spiritually. A cold boring dead lifeless church has not power, no one gets saved, healed, revived, or strengthened. They might have taught the word but didn't allow it to get in their inner spirit. It was probably formal. The same ritual every Sunday and brought forth no fruit.

  • Revelation 3:1  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 
    Rev 3:2  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 
    Rev 3:3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 
    Rev 3:4  Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 
    Rev 3:5  He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.  

Again the remedy is to repent and be watchful for His coming. I imagine they avoid the prophetic teachings on the Lord's return. There were those there that were faithful and didn't defile themselves. To them that overcome will not have their names blotted out of the book of life but Jesus will confess them before His Father and the angels. They will be clothed with robes of white. This kind of refutes the once saved eternal security believers. Jesus wouldn't mention blotting names out of the book of life if it was something that wasn't done. I don't believe someone that had not have come to Christ in the first place would have his or her name in there to begin with. Something to think about.

The next church is one I hope I'm a part of. The church at Philadelphia. They were not instructed to repent. Here is why:

  • Revelation 3:8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Awesome. They kept His word. They did not deny His name. That simple. They were warned only to keep what they have.

  • Revelation 3:10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 
    Rev 3:11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.  

This were promised to escape the great hour of temptation which will come on the whole world. Some believe this is the time of Jacob's trouble, the future great tribulation. They believe and I hold to that belief myself, that this type of church will go in the rapture, (the Harpazo or catching away). This is a little off the topic of repentance but scripture that helps support this is here:

  • 1Thessalonians 4:14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 
    1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 
    1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 
    1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 
    1Th 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  

The last of the seven churches is the church at Laodicea. This church was rich, had everything money could buy but was worldly and lukewarm. Most of us like coffee hot and lemonade cold. We do not like lukewarm water. I might drink it but I don't like to. The Lord would rather they choose to be hot or cold. He wanted nothing to do with lukewarmness. Yet the remedy is the same. To reverse this state of mind, all they had to do was repent and return to the place they were supposed to be with the Lord. Full of love, joy, peace and recognize their great need for the Lord. Perhaps they were so busy enjoying life, having plenty of entertaining stuff to do that they did what they thought was necessary but they were really blind and out of touch with the Lord. Too busy having fun to worship in spirit and in truth. This describes the day we live in. Still there is always hope when we genuinely repent and return to our first love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Repentance Part 5  Those that do not repent

 

 


 
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