Don't just sit there! Jesus calls you to be an aggressive, competitive member of His Church.
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Revelation 3 (ESV)
1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write:
‘The words of him who has
the seven spirits of God
and the seven stars.
“ ‘I know your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead.
2 Wake up, and strengthen
and is about to die,
for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
3 Remember, then,
what you received and heard.
Keep it, and repent.
If you will not wake up,
I will come like a thief,
and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis,
people who have not soiled their garments,
and they will walk with me
for they are worthy.
5 The one who conquers
will be clothed thus in white garments,
and I will never blot his name out of the book of life.
I will confess his name
before my Father
and before his angels.
6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
‘The words of
the holy one,
the true one,
has the key of David,
who opens and no one will shut,
who shuts and no one opens.
8 “ ‘I know your works.
I have set before you an open door,
which no one is able to shut.
I know that
you have but little power,
and yet you
have kept my word
and have not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan
who say that they are Jews
and are not, but lie—
behold, I will make them
come and bow down before your feet,
and they will learn that I have loved you.
you have kept my word about patient endurance,
I will keep you from the hour of trial
that is coming on the whole world,
to try those who dwell on the earth.
11 I am coming soon.
Hold fast what you have,
so that no one may seize your crown.
12 The one who conquers,
I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God.
Never shall he go out of it,
and I will write on him
the name of my God,
and the name of the city of my God,
the new Jerusalem,
which comes down from my God out of heaven,
and my own new name.
13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
‘The words of
the faithful and true witness,
the beginning of God’s creation.
15 “ ‘I know your works:
you are neither cold nor hot.
Would that you were either cold or hot!
because you are lukewarm,
and neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of my mouth.
17 For you say,
I am rich,
I have prospered,
and I need nothing,
not realizing that you are
18 I counsel you to buy from me
gold refined by fire,
so that you may be rich,
and white garments
you may clothe yourself
and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen,
and salve to anoint your eyes,
so that you may see.
19 Those whom I love,
I reprove and discipline,
so be zealous and repent.
I stand at the door and knock.
hears my voice
and opens the door,
come in to him
and eat with him,
and he with me.
21 The one who conquers,
I will grant him to sit
on my throne,
as I also conquered
and sat down
with my Father
on his throne.
22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ ”
Revelation 3 Summary
The book of Revelation tells the same story of Christ's triumph from seven different perspectives. This first perspective seems relatively dull; there are no fire breathing dragons or fantastic battles or anything else of the sort.
In this opening perspective, we see Jesus addressing and equipping His church with both affirmation and discipline in the form of letters that he sent to seven churches. Seven is a very important and recurring number in this book, and here it helps us understand that Jesus' words here are not just for these particular congregations in far away places from long ago, but rather He's addressing the catholic church - the church universal.
All of Jesus' admonitions are relevant of course, but the two we read of in today's chapter hit particularly close for us today.
The church in Sardis had a reputation of being vibrant. They looked really good from the outside, but it's all a fake veneer. They're not doing what a church should be doing, and are therefore dead.
Perhaps Jesus' harshest words were for the final church He addressed: the Laodiceans. They were just going through the motions as a church - Jesus describes them as being neither cold nor hot. If they were hot, they would exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. If they were cold, at least they might see their need for the gospel and repent. But since they were nice and comfortable right in the middle (a spot many of us find ourselves in often!), Jesus warns he'll spit them out.
Each of these letters Jesus dictated for the church ends with the same phrase:
The one who conquers will...
Notice the competitive, aggressive language Jesus calls out to you with as a member of His Church!
This is a familiar attitude for many of us: to excel and conquer athletically and professionally. Heed Christ's call to take that same attitude into church!
AAA Prayer :
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Triune God: the holy and true one (v7)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask that God will give you the strength to be the conqueror that He's called you to be!
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: