Revelation 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.”
The Holy Spirit, in His whole complexity and perfection (called by Jesus the seven Spirits), and the angels of the seven churches from Asia Minor (“The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” - Revelation 1:20 ) belong to Jesus Christ. He is holding the “seven stars” in His right hand, which means that He not only has authority over the churches but they are also very important to Him.
In the letters to the seven churches of Revelation, Jesus is sending messages of both admonishment and correction to the churches, which to Him is not a list of people that completed a membership form, but are those who were truly born again and faithful to the end. If we judge by what we see in the natural, we might say that those who attend church on regular basis are the ones who are spiritually alive. But Jesus sees beyond “appearances” and knows if we live our lives truly lead by the Holy Spirit or if we are sadly really living it according to our carnal nature. He knows everything about us and nothing is hidden from Him.
The problems that Jesus is calling serious attention throughout the letters to the seven churches, are common to all churches throughout history, including to those in today. Hypocrisy was and still is very present in churches and in many Christians lives. It is so common that most of the time, we do not even realize when are hypocrites or being hypocritical, trying to seem more holy than we really are, making sure we look good to other people. It is really helpful for us to never forget that God knows our true hearts and thoughts and sees all our secrets and that we should be much more concerned about what He sees in us and in our behavior, than what other people see.
Revelation 3:2 “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.”
Are we saved by works? No way! We are saved by grace, but “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Our works and behavior, are the result of our spiritual condition. It is up to us to be watchful, to analyze our spiritual condition and take the necessary measures to strengthen our faith as we walk on God's path. How we are doing spiritually completely dictates what we think and our actions. If most of the time we meditate upon God's Word, His ways, love and care and we live our lives with the leadership of the Holy Spirit then the outcome is pleasing to the Lord and we will stay on the right path. But if choose our thoughts to be mainly about our problems, other people, temptations and all that is worldly and all too-often the disproportional activities of life, then we are choosing to be carnal and we are deceiving ourselves if we think we are on the right track. Dear Lord please help us see the truth about ourselves and correct what needs to be corrected.
Revelation 3:3 “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”
What can we do? It is important to stop and remember what we received when we came to Jesus and what it means when Jesus is the true Lord of our lives. Faith comes by hearing and so does doubt. Hearing the Word of God, produces faith in our hearts. On the other hand, by hearing and paying attention to what the world say on so many matters, we start to doubt that God's power and miracles can work for us and our faith is easily replaced by doubt.
We need to hold fast to our faith and be quick to repent once we realize we sin. Forgiveness of sin comes only after we sincerely repent. We need to recognize the sin, regret it and oftentimes ask for the Lord's help to not repeat it. What is really spooky is when we “sin” and are no longer “sorry” then this is evidence of a huge problem. Only a hardened heart becomes insensitive to sin and if we find our selves in such a position, it should shake us to our very core. We keep a soft and pliable heart, by being watchful, paying attention to what is going on in our heart. If not, Jesus says that He will come upon us “as a thief” meaning suddenly. None of us know when will leave this earth, so we should stay right with God at all times, keeping a clean, soft heart and a pure conscience. Praise God that through Jesus Christ we have all we need to do that.
James 1:6-8 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Faith is the opposite of doubt and the two, can not co-exist. Doubt causes us to wave between belief and unbelief. We should have faith in God's help, care, love, provision, best solution to every bad situation we are facing and in the truth of His Word and promises. But if we listen to the enemy's voice or human reasoning, instead of the Holy Spirit, our trust might be soon be replaced by uncertainty and lack of confidence that God wants to help us out, heal us or perform any miracle for us. Not even the most powerful men of God can say that they have been completely fearless and have not fallen into doubt, worry or concern, when they faced tough situations. But, the more we mature in the Spirit, the less it will take to strengthen up our faith. We are strengthened by remembering how the Lord saw us through with His help and even miracles previously in desperate situations. When we choose to remember or find the Bible verses that reveal God's will in our situations then we are able to be strong in faith and eliminate the doubt. As we start to pray using God's promises, we are increasing our confidence that we will receive what we are asking for. And as we proclaim God's Word as we know it is still true today, we are producing a more concrete faith that will produce the best results. You may read more on the matter at click here: “How do we know that the old testament promises are valid for the gentiles, too?”
Revelation 3:4-6 “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but 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.”’”
God is always has a remnant of sincere believers that serve Him with all their hearts, even when the majority doesn't. Even if God's remnant is greatly outnumbered, they refuse to follow the crowd and are fully committed to the Lord and try their best to live right, following the Bible and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. How is this possible? Their true desire to follow Christ and His leadership in every area of their lives. We can be like them, doing what it takes to keep “our spiritual garments” clean. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to not sin on purpose and to overcome temptation, by staying focused on God's Word and refusing thoughts about the lusts of the flesh. As Paul said about himself:
1 Corinthians 9:27 ”But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
Jesus will dress us up in white garments, if we remain in Him and His Word remains in us (John 15:7). We cannot be branches in the vine, that is Jesus, if we live under the leadership of our carnal nature (our flesh) and not the Holy Spirit.
The meaning of “to be worthy” in Revelation 3:4 (according to Thayer's Greek Lexicon), is to deserve Jesus' fellowship and all the blessings connected with it. We will deserve to spend eternal life with Jesus in Heaven, if we live for Him to the end.
Revelation 2:10 b ”Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
Jesus says that He will “ not blot out the name from the Book of Life” of the one who is worthy and overcomes. This means that there is “the possibility” to have one's name erased from it. Jesus is talking to born-again Christians that have their names written in the Book if Life and He reaffirms that we have to live right until the end to make it to Heaven. If Jesus will not confess our name before Father God and His angels, then we will not be covered by His righteousness, which means that our sins will not be forgiven. As a result, we will pay for them by being separated from God for eternity, which is the second death. This is serious.
Oh Lord, please help us keep our spiritual ears sincerely open and truly sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, fulfilling what You tell us to do and living in obedience to You every day, because we want to conclude our journey on this earth, in Your arms.