Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Another Angle I Hadn't Considered

Someone calling himself "Anon" chimed in on the repentance issue. I promise, Anon is not me. This is the exchange:
Anon: How do you explain Jesus telling the churches to repent after examining their works? 
Lori: You will have to tell me what verse you refer to. If it is to the churches in Revelation, He was calling some of them to the repentance that leads to everlasting life.
Anon: Then you are basing salvation on works. Each church that Jesus told to repent had to repent of specific works. Also, 1 John is written to believers. We have a sin nature. Pride is a sin that sometimes only God can see. "Take heed lest ye fall."
Lori: In Revelation, God is telling the churches to repent of specific things they were doing wrong meaning He wanted them to stop doing those things and do the right thing. It has nothing to do with confessing their sin and asking for forgiveness. The issue is "What will you do with Christ?" Not, "What will you do with your sin?" Christ has already dealt with our sin. Now we need to stop sinning and do the right thing that God has called us to do. Repent of our pride means we stop being prideful! God dealt with our flesh at the cross; He killed it and we are now new creatures in Christ!
Anon: You said some needed "repentance that leads to everlasting life", which would mean Jesus was basing their salvation on their works. Jesus did not say, "What will you do with me?", but told them to repent of those "specific things they were doing wrong", which is the issue of sin that would bring His chastening. Jesus warns these churches to repent. It sounds like you are contradicting yourself.
Lori: Some churches were not saved therefore they needed to repent and believe in Jesus as their Savior. This is not a work. It is believing in the finished work of Christ. Others were involved in some type of sin and God was telling them to repent which means to go and sin no more, stop sinning.

I forgot about the churches in Revelation! They were called to repent! Good catch, Anon!
To the highlighted (unsaved churches?!?) from Revelation 2:
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.  I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary.  But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
There is more, but you get the point. It is clear the churches are still churches, because if they are "unsaved" they cease to be churches. They are lampstands and Jesus stands and walks among them. They are not "unsaved." They are saved and yet they are called to repent of their sins because they are in the world and will be led astray but also will be led to confess and repent. Just like all of us. Just like Scripture teaches.

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (Rev. 3:19)

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