The Danger of Refusing to Repent (Revelation 9:20–21) - Radical

The Danger of Refusing to Repent (Revelation 9:20–21)

The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood which cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
– Revelation 9:20–21

This is such a humbling passage chapter. Revelation 9:20–21 is filled with deafening descriptions of God’s wrath upon sin and sinners who do not turn from sin, trust in his grace and his mercy offered to them.

God graciously warns us of sin’s terrible consequences so that we might repent.

Revelation 9:20–21 Tells Us People Still Don’t Repent

But then what’s so overwhelming is when you get to the end of the chapter after all this judgment poured out on sin, people still are not turning from idolatry. They’re still giving their lives over to immorality. It’s so humbling to see the effects of sin in our lives, how we can’t see how dangerous it is.

And I think about it in my own life, how prone I am to sin even when I know that sin leads to death, that sin leads to destruction, that sin is not good. I just think about all the temptations to idolatry and immorality, specifically even here in this passage, sexual immorality that surround you and me on a daily basis and how prone we are to compromise with sin, to give our affections and attention in idolatrous ways to even good things in the world but not the great God over the world.

Revelation 9:20–21 Tells Us that Sin is a Real Temptation

Our temptation is to wander into immorality in all kinds of different ways. We pray, God help us. God help us to see that wandering leads to death. It leads to destruction. It leads to all kinds of consequences that we do not want in our lives. So God, we pray for a spirit of repentance in us.

God help us not to be blind. Please open our eyes to the emptiness of even the good things of this world that we are tempted to seek as great, to put our trust in. God, help us to only put our trust in you. Rid us of all idolatry and God, please help us to flee immorality. Help us as your word says, to flee sexual immorality.

This Verse Calls Us to Repent of Our Sin

God, any thoughts, any desires, any words, any actions that do not glorify you, God we pray, help us to turn from these things. Help us not to buy into the lies of this world, that these things, idolatry, immorality, all of its different forms that just leads to good. We know, we know, we know it doesn’t lead to good so help us to see that.

Help us to repent. Help us not to be like this picture in Revelation 9:20–21 who even though we realize it’s not good, we keep running to it. God, may that not be the case in our lives today. Help us to worship you and follow you with all our hearts today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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