[SW245] 08/27/2016 message notes by
Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016
“Even Christians Must Repent”
I asked the Lord, “Why do you want me to preach this?” He said, “So you may present to Me a bride, spotless, blameless, and pure.”
It is possible to be declared righteous by God, through faith in Jesus Christ, and then to fall into sin, so you must repent. What is your recourse? Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Lord declared Job to be blameless and upright (righteous), in Job 1:8. The Lord allowed extreme trials into Job’s life — it reminds me of when I had MS, but I was very far from the Lord. These trials revealed a heart problem in Job, for he trusted in his own righteousness. When the trials came, he soon began to accuse the Lord of being unfair.
How did the Lord respond to him? From Job 40:8, He said, “You condemn Me so you can be justified.”
Job’s response? He repented in dust and ashes (Job 42:6). He had declared that which he did not understand, God’s wonderful things, which he did not know (verse 3). He had heard of the Lord, but now his eyes saw Him! So he repented.
Even righteous Job had to repent. He was forgiven by the Lord, and afterwards, the Lord restored him twofold.
As I lay in bed a couple of nights ago, I asked the Lord, “Where in the New Testament do you want me to go, Lord?” He said, “My letters to the churches.” In Revelation 2 and 3, there are five churches that He commands to repent. There are two churches that require no repentance.
Keep in mind that these were actual churches at the time of the revelation to John from Jesus Christ, and they also pertain to you, personally.
First, the churches that were commanded by Jesus Christ to repent: Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea. Please keep in mind that there was a remnant who had not sinned, in each of these five churches. All of them had been declared to be in right-standing with God, through faith in Jesus Christ. But what did the majority of each church do that required repentance, and what were the consequences if they did not obey and repent?
In Revelation 2:1-7, Ephesus was doing some good things, by rooting out false teachers. But they had LEFT their first love (Verse 4). Who was that? Jesus Christ! They had left Him at the altar, in their pursuit of false doctrines.
Do you remember when you first believed, how you loved Jesus? How is your love for Him now? Examine yourself.
In Verse 5, Jesus commanded them to repent and do the things they did at first, or they would lose their place. There would not be a place in the kingdom of God for them, if they did not repent. Thus, once again, even the righteous had to repent.
I tell you, Jesus must not only be first but be the very center of you, and you must minister to Him by sitting at His feet listening to Him teach you, by adoring Him, by worshiping your Father and Jesus Christ in Spirit and truth. Do you want His love? You must be filled with the Holy Spirit, and He will fill you with His love!
Next is Pergamum, in Revelation 2:12-17. Immorality and idolatry was practiced there, and Jesus saw it. I tell you, He knows your deeds, also. In Verse 17, Jesus Christ commands them to repent, or He will come to them quickly (suddenly), and He will make war with those committing these sins, with the sword of His mouth, which is the Word of God. That is judgment, beloved. He said His words would judge those who sin (John 12:48). So again, even the righteous had to repent.
Next is Thyatira, in Revelation 2:18-29. A false prophetess was there, and leading His bond-servants astray, into idolatry and immorality, which included orgies and sexual perversion.
He gave the prophetess time to repent, but she refused. So she would be judged. And unless they repented, so would her followers, her spiritual children (Verse 23).
Next is Sardis, in Revelation 3:1-6. Jesus said they were dead. From Verse 1, “dead” means “corpse.” There is none of His life in them, and they are unclean, which means they are not holy. They were like the valley of dry bones (see Ezekiel 37). They do not have the Holy Spirit, nor are they filled with Him. And He commands them to wake up and repent, or He will come to them like a thief in the night. They were not children of the light (Ephesians 5:8) They will not be ready, and therefore, they will be judged. Again, even those who are righteous must repent.
And the fifth church commanded to repent is Laodicea, in Revelation 3:14-22. They are rich and wealthy, in the natural, as is much of the church in America. But they are poverty-stricken in the spiritual, as is much of the church in America. Most of what we do is natural, and we are able to do it because we are wealthy, in the natural. But such churches, like Laodicea, are lukewarm. They say they are in need of nothing. So Jesus Christ tells them they are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Verse 17). He commands them to buy pure gold, refined in the fire (they need to be purified). Those whom He loves, He reproves and disciplines. Therefore, He commands them to be zealous (on fire for Him), and repent. Unless they do, the shame of their nakedness will be revealed in the day of judgment (Verse 18).
Now, to the two churches that Jesus Christ did not command to repent. What did they do that was right before the Lord?
The first church that was not commanded to repent is Smyrna in Revelation 2:8-11). They were persecuted, and therefore, poor in the natural. But Jesus said they were rich, in the spiritual (Verse 9)! They had been filled with the Spirit, for beloved you cannot be spiritually until that happens. Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to wait until they were clothed with power on high, and when they were filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, they were made rich! Many were about to be martyred, but He would give them the crown of eternal life (Verse 10)!
And the second church that was not commanded to repent was Philadelphia. He presents to them an open door that no one could shut! Why? They have a little power! First, I said, just a little power? But it is a little dunamis, God’s miracle-working power! Not simply authority, which Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 10, but dunamis! Because they had this power, they were able to keep His word (obey Him) and not deny His name. This is the power of the Holy Spirit, when you are filled with Him. And these would be kept from the hour of testing (Verse 10)!
I tell you this, beloved, from my own experience. Before I was filled with the Spirit, I could not obey. I kept failing and falling. But after I was filled, I hated sin like God does, and was filled with God’s love so I loved Father, Son and Spirit with His own love, and His church with the same love. It is the love that compels me to speak to you today, that you may repent.
So, now is your opportunity. Will you repent? He will certainly forgive you, if you do. And when you ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, He will do that, and you will be rich, and have a little power! Turn now from your sin!
O church, turn now from your celebration of sin, and repent! Amen.