To the Church in Sardis
“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. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. (Revelation 3:1-2, ESV)
The church in Sardis has grown cold. It is known for its spirituality, for being alive in Christ, but its works belie this appearance. Our LORD says that Sardis’ works are “incomplete”. This tells us that it is doing good works but not performing the works that God is calling it to do. It is at least, not performing these works to the extent that God has called it to. The Lord goes on to commend a few in this church for their faithfulness but just a few.
This is called for this church (and us) to repent; turning away from what we are doing, no matter how holy these things may appear, and remember what God has called it (and us), specifically, to do. In that lies our hope:
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. (Revelation 3:5, ESV)
We, (along with the church in Sardis, need to turn back to Christ and to not rest on what we have done or think we have done in the name of our LORD. Going through the motions and acting “churchy” doesn’t cut it by a long shot. But, by walking once again with Jesus, we have hope.
To the Church in Philadelphia
I know your works. Behold, 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. (Revelation 3:8, ESV)
In contrast with the church in Sardis, we are given a picture of Philadelphia. This church is hot. The fire remains strong in this church. Not only does it have great faith marked by its patient endurance (verse 10), God commends its works as well. He promises to protect them from their adversaries and in the times of trouble that are surely to come. Those of this church who remain faithful through all that will befall them, will be made “pillars” in the temple of God where they will remain forever and be held up as examples to the people of God (verse 12). Our faith must produce works, and our works must proceed from the will of our God. That is the “key” to living with and for God.
To the Church in Laodicea
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16, ESV)
Worst of all is the lukewarm church. This is a church (or person) who neither attempts to discern the Truths of God nor performs works. It calls itself a church (or a Christian) but doesn’t care enough to take the faith seriously in word or deed. It’s not cold because it acts how it thinks it should and does what it thinks it should and maybe it has always been this way. It’s not hot because there is no “fire” for Christ but there never really was any fire to begin with. This church (and these people) need to seek God and the Way He is willing to show them. This is their hope: to open that door and allow Christ into their lives and they will not only be pillars of the Church but will find places on the very throne of God!
No matter where one finds one’s self in Christ’s continuum of faith, hot, cold or in between, there is hope until the end and His name is Jesus Christ. We need to repent, turning back to Jesus. We each need to seek His guidance daily through prayer and by reading His Word. Then, having received His Word and His guidance, we each need to act on them, completely. And I do mean we. I include my self in this as much or more than any reader of this blog.
Be blessed and a blessing,
- Revelation 1: Spiritual Gifts (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 2: Testing the Faithful (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 3: Hope in Jesus (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 1-3: The Introduction (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 4 and 5: An Image of Father and Son (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 6: The First Six Seals (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)