1“To the angel of the assembly in Ephesus write:

“He who holds the seven stars in his right hand, he who walks among the seven golden lamp stands says these things:

2“I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can’t tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false. 3You have perseverance and have endured for my name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you left your first love. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I am coming to you swiftly, and will move your lamp stand out of its place, unless you repent. 6But this you have, that you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God.

8“To the angel of the assembly in Smyrna write:

“The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life says these things:

9“I know your works, oppression, and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Don’t be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes won’t be harmed by the second death.

12“To the angel of the assembly in Pergamum write:

“He who has the sharp two-edged sword says these things:

13“I know your works and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. You hold firmly to my name, and didn’t deny my faith in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15So also you likewise have some who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent therefore, or else I am coming to you quickly and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows but he who receives it.

18“To the angel of the assembly in Thyatira write:

“The Son of God, who has his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like burnished brass, says these things:

19“I know your works, your love, faith, service, patient endurance, and that your last works are more than the first. 20But I have this against you, that you tolerate your woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 21I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22Behold, I will throw her and those who commit adultery with her into a bed of great oppression, unless they repent of her works. 23I will kill her children with Death, and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 24But to you I say, to the rest who are in Thyatira—as many as don’t have this teaching, who don’t know what some call ‘the deep things of Satan’—to you I say, I am not putting any other burden on you. 25Nevertheless, hold that which you have firmly until I come. 26He who overcomes, and he who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. 27He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots, as I also have received of my Father; 28and I will give him the morning star. 29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.


Word study | Rev 2:16 | Steve Stanley

Repent (Gk. μετανοέω, metanoeo). (6:12; Matt 3:2; 11:20; Luke 10:13, Acts 2:38; 8:22, 2 Cor 12:21) Strong’s 3340

To repent means to change one’s mind. The term μετανοέωis a compound verb using the preposition μετά (meta), which means after, and the verb νοέω (noeo), which means to think. So, the word literally means to “think again, rethink” The NT use of the word conveys the idea of turning away from sin and turning toward the positive, most importantly, turning toward God. The negative aspect of turning away from something wrong and destructive is predominant with this word, but clearly, one cannot turn away from anything without turning toward something else. The Bible and experience teach that no individual can live successfully in a vacuum, that is, the power of repentance is not just the motivation to turn from sin, but the attraction of turning toward relationship and intimacy with God.

Attempting to fill the God-shaped vacuum (described by Pascal) with something other than God is at the heart of sin. Attempting to turn from sin, leaving that vacuum unfilled, is equally doomed to failure. Repentance is not essentially a show of emotion; it is essentially a change of mind. Yet a substantial change of mind expects a change of emotion and volition, and certainly may be motivated by emotions. This is not to say there may not be great value in the expression of grief over one’s sin. In other words, true biblical repentance involves all of the soul, including feeling and choosing. Is repentance required for salvation? To answer that question properly requires a firm assertion that salvation is by faith alone and in no way by works. Nonetheless, the result of saving faith must in part be repentance on some level. How can someone truly believe that Jesus died for his or her sins and that He rose on the third day (1 Cor 15:1-5) without turning from reliance on something other than Christ (sin) to reliance on Christ, on some level? We should be careful not to define repentance too narrowly.