Monday, August 14, 2006

The Church Must First Repent

by J. Edwin Orr

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelation 3:19)

The occurrence of the word "Repent" in the messages to the Seven Churches is truly remarkable. The word "Repentance" -- in the mind of the average Christian--is connected with sinners and not with professing Christians. And yet the word used throughout the New Testament in the presentation of the Gospel message to sinners is exactly the same word repeated by our Lord in His messages to the Seven Churches.

The word "Repent" occurs over seven times in these seven messages. It is omitted from two of them--Smyrna, the poor, persecuted Church--for a church in persecution is generally a purified one, and Philadelphia, the loyal Church, the Church that had kept the faith. The noun "metanoia" (repentance) is defined variously as a change of mind, a change of heart, a change of attitude, or a change of direction.

With this information borne in mind, let us examine the uses of the verb in the Revelation.

1. In the first message, Ephesus is described as an energetic church, patiently laboring for God, and perfectly sound in doctrine. "I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent..."

2. The (third) message to Pergamos complains of their eating of meat sacrificed to idols, of fornication committed, and of the holding of the hated doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. "Repent!"

3. Thyatira is likewise rebuked in the fourth message. And again repentance is urged.

4. The dying Church of Sardis is again commanded to repent.

5. And Laodicea is urged to repent as well.

Before we come to the application of these messages, it is appropriate that we should consider the nature of the word "Church" for the simple reason that many people repudiate it as applying to a really Christian Church. "Ekklesia" the word used, may be interpreted "assembly" or "gathering of called-out ones", or "convention " in the best sense of the word (being convened). It occurs more than a hundred times in the New Testament, and is always translated "Church" with the exception of the instances regarding the Civic Assembly in Ephesus.

Are we repenting or maybe we do not need to....... You make the call.....Does a life have to change to be save or is that just works?

What do you think......


At 8:56 AM, Blogger Joe said...

I think repentance applies MORE to Christians and churches than to any other entity.

John wrote that if we say we have no sin we make God out to be a liar!

Therefore, when we sin, we need to repent. Not so much for forgiveness, that was taken care of at Calvary. More for the benefit of the relationship between us and Him.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger bluecollar said...

What would Christendom be like if Christians all over loved the Lord God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength?

What would Christendom be like if Christians let the word of Christ dwell in them richly?

What would Christendom be like if Christians were in a place where they were "be being filled" with the Spirit?


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