The occurrence of the word "repent" in the messages to the seven churches is truly remarkable. I don't know about you, but I used to think that the word "repentance" was only connected with unbelievers and not with Christians. And yet I was reminded that the word used throughout the New Testament in the presentation of the Gospel message to unbelievers is exactly the same word repeated by our Lord in His messages to the churches.
- Ephesus - an energetic church and sound in doctrine. Nevertheless Jesus said they had left their first love, so need to repent.
- Pergamos - holding of the hated doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. Our Lord said, "Repent!"
- Thyatira - also rebuked and repentance urged.
- Sardis - the dying Church commanded to repent.
- Laodicea - neither cold nor hot - need to repent.
The word in Revelation 3:20, which so often is preached to people who don't know the Lord, is in fact to the believers in the church.
Therefore, the church must first repent. Let us be in earnest, change our warped mind, change our heart and wrong attitude, change our contrary direction. Let the church repent!