Tuesday, 22 September 2020
And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Revelation 2:21
Some of the Greek texts, rather than saying, “and she did not repent,” say “she is unwilling to repent.” That is certainly more in line with Paul’s words in the book of Romans –
“Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4
In this, the state of mind is more genuinely expressed because there must be a willingness to repent in order for true repentance to take place. Understanding this, and still speaking of “Jezebel,” Jesus says, “And I gave her time to repent.” It is apparent that this woman has been in the congregation. As such, she would see from their works, love, service, faith, and patience (verse 2:19) that there was a proper way to conduct oneself.
However, time is not what this person needed. The allowance of time was to demonstrate this. She failed to “repent of her sexual immorality.” Despite clearly knowing that what she was doing was wrong, she refused to turn from her ways. It reflects a condition of the heart. In such a state, Jesus says, “and she did not repent.”
Repentance simply means, “to change one’s mind.” There is a difference between a person who is addicted to drugs and who truly desires to not be addicted to drugs, and a person who is addicted to drugs and who is unwilling to give them up. The state of mind is what is evaluated, not necessarily the taking of the drugs. The state of mind is what will potentially lead to ending the addiction. But if the state of mind is unyielding, there will never be a true change.
It is evident that Jezebel had no desire to turn from her sexual immorality. Because of this, Jesus has a harsh sentence coming upon her in the verses ahead. She will receive her just due because she failed to accept the words of Scripture that tell us it will eventually come –
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Life application: The God of the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, is accused of being harsh and angry without demonstrating mercy and patience. However, from the earliest pages of the Bible in Genesis, even to the last pages of the Bible in Revelation, a completely different view of God is given.
Abraham was promised that his descendants would receive the land of Canaan as an inheritance, but it wouldn’t be given to him right away. The reason is given at the time of the covenant in Genesis 15:15, 16 –
“Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
God gave the people in the land 400 years more to repent and to seek Him out, but in the end, there was simply no remedy. The same is true with the people of Israel in Isaiah –
“I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts.” Isaiah 65:2
Were God to destroy humans every time they sinned, there would be no humans on earth in a single day. Were God to give humans a week to repent and then destroy them, there would be no humans at the end of the week. People who point fingers at, and accuse, God simply deny the reality of their own state. They rule that God is unfair to judge them when in fact He is more than fair.
Jezebel was given time to repent as well… “and she did not.” Churches that mix shrines and relics in with their worship will be held accountable. Churches that mingle humanistic philosophies and ideologies with proper worship will be held accountable. Mingling the holy with the profane is intolerable and will be punished. This is reality and this is just. Pointing one’s finger at God is merely a reflection of a problem with self, not a problem with God.
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:10-12
We know, O Lord, that if You were to count our sins against us as we deserve, none could stand in Your presence. But You are merciful and abundant in kindness to the children of men. Cleanse us Lord. Sprinkle us with the blood of Christ and we will be clean. Thank You for the forgiveness that comes through His mighty and glorious deeds. Amen.