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Repentance in Revelation

Posted by Matt Postiff January 6, 2017 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Bible Texts  Gospel  Theology 

I'm finishing Revelation and noticed something of an emphasis on repentance. For all the symbolism and other difficulties associated with the apocalyptic genre of Revelation, this element is crystal clear. God is very interested in people repenting.

Consider the following, which is the collection of all 10 verses in Revelation that use the word repent (all verses from NKJV).

Rev. 2:5 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-- unless you repent.

Rev. 2:16 `Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

Rev. 2:21 "And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.

Rev. 2:22 "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.

Rev. 3:3 "Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

Rev. 3:19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Rev. 9:20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.

Rev. 9:21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Rev. 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.

Rev. 16:11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

There is an awful lot of repenting that should be happening during the Tribulation. The remainder of Scripture is clear too that this is not something required of humanity only in the last days; it is the kind of response God desires in every age. It has been fashionable in some circles to downplay or eliminate repentance from the gospel. Such a fashion is not at all Biblical.

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