1. REPENTANCE IN REVELATION 2

Jesus told John to warn the false prophetess Jezebel about the failure to repent from her idolatry. He also revealed that He would bring judgment on the rebellious idolaters in the assembly if they failed to repent:

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

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: 21- 23)

2. REPENTANCE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Metanoeō ( G3340/met-an-o-eh’-o) is the Greek word for repent and repented in Revelation 2: 21. John the  Baptist was the first New Testament preacher to use the word as he preached saying, “repent… for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3: 2. In addition to preaching the gospel of repentance, Lord Jesus also commissioned the disciples to preach repentance from sin and belief in the gospel (Mark 6: 12)

3. REPENTANCE AVERTS PERSONAL AND NATIONAL  DISASTER

Jesus gave a response to some individuals who came to tell Him about some Galileans who had been massacred by Pilate. He told them that they would perish in the same way unless they repented (Luke 13: 3). At first I was puzzled by Jesus’ response, but He gave me a quick explanation. Jesus came from the town of Galilee and had been rejected there for preaching the gospel. In fact, the people had almost murdered Him (Luke 4: 14 – 30).  Those Galileans would have been saved if they had believed Jesus’ message. They had no excuse!

History also reveals that the Jews who had believed the Lord’s prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem were spared in the AD 70 Roman invasion. Remembering the Lord’s words, they fled from the city in advance and were saved. Old Testament scriptures are filled with God pleading for His people to repent in order to have Him change His mind about judgment that He had pronounced. The chilling reminder of Jewish history shows that the Jews had gone into captivity in Babylon for failing to change their ways and failing to follow God’s ways.

Jesus referred to the city of Nineveh as one in which national disaster had been averted when the people repented at the preaching of Jonah. He made other references to world history, citing the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Tyre and Sidon.  As He preached, He chided Jewish cities for failing to repent even though He had preached and performed mighty miracles in them. The Lord warned the people that it would be more tolerable for those other cities in the day of Judgment because they had not seen those miracles (Matthew 11: 20 – 24).

The Lord’s words show me that nations which have heard the gospel have receive fair warning about the righteousness and wrath of God and can fall into great peril for failing to repent. He contrasted  their response with that of Nineveh in which Jonah preached. They had repented and received God’s favor in having judgment averted.

D. WHAT IS THE ATTITUDE OF REPENTANCE?

Jesus revealed that the people of the city of Tyre and Sidon would have donned sackcloth and ashes if they had seen the mighty miracles He had done (Luke 10: 13). Sackcloth and ashes were worn by anyone mourning and grieving and were  the Jewish symbol of sorrow.

New Testament scriptures also reveal that repentance means to:

  • Be converted  (Acts 3: 19)
  • Change one’s thinking (Acts 8: 22)
  • turn to God and produce behavior or works that are evident of the change of heart (Acts 26: 20)
  • Turn away from uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed (2 Cor 12: 21)
  • To change old ways, for example, to stop worshipping devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood… (to stop) murders… sorceries…fornication…thefts (Revelation 9: 20 & 21).

E. CONCLUSION

Repentance is a critical teaching in scripture. It is change of heart and action and is reflected by evidence of change. Repentance brings both personal and national forgiveness of sins (Luke 17: 3 & 4; Acts 2: 38). Repentance is so critical that the angels in heaven rejoice when ONE sinner turns away from sin (Luke 15: 7-10).

We need the mercy and forgiveness of God. I urge you to repent and change your ways!

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