Revelation 3:19 – As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
It’s easy to think of God as a divine fly-swatter, just waiting for you to land so that—whap—He can nail you for your sins. But that’s not what we see in Revelation 2–3 in His letters to the seven churches. The pattern of the letters demonstrates God’s loving heart for wayward people.
Jesus began many of these letters by affirming the good things His people had done. This shows us that when we do what is good and right, the Lord is pleased.
But Jesus is also concerned about the faults in our lives. His commendation in these letters was often followed by clear words of reproof. And while it’s not comfortable to hear Him say, “Nevertheless I have this against you” (2:4; see vv.14,20), He reveals what needs to be changed in our lives to keep us from self-deceit.
This moves us to the real heart of the matter—repentance. When the Lord told these churches to repent, He was revealing His love for wayward saints. His goal was not to condemn but to restore them to intimate fellowship with Him.
And don’t miss the fact that each letter ends with a specific promise for the “overcomers.” Clearly God desires to reward those who live lives that are pleasing to Him.
What’s He saying to you today?
To live a life that pleases Christ,
It’s crucial to obey His voice;
When He reveals our sin to us,
Repentance is the wisest choice.
Repentance restores and renews our intimacy with the Lord.