Summary: Over sleeping can cost you the loss of your job,and other great opportunities, but worst of all, your soul. Wake up.
Its time to wake up
3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Do your remember the Folgers commercial where that college student sneaks into his house at Christmas and started making coffee? Everyone in the house soon woke up to rich aroma.
The churches of chapter 2 are told to “remember,” “repent,” “be faithful,” “hold fast,” and other things. This church is told to “wake up.” Read Revelation 3:1-6.
Of the four examined so far, this church is in the worst shape. The others start off with words of praise, but this church is different. There is some praise later, but the downside is greater. We learn many things from this church.
· REPUTATION doesn’t always REFLECT REALITY.
Things aren’t always as they appear. The church at Thyatira was a church that didn’t live up to its billing.
The Sardis church had a great past, but they were nowhere near that now. They had a glorious past.
Reputations don’t always reflect reality. Take the case of “squeaky-clean” baseball star Steve Garvey. He had a great “family man” image, but after his career he admitted to fathering kids out of wedlock.
Even with past glory, a church cannot live on that past success. This church had been great, but it had fallen along way. It was dead, but there were some weak vital signs. (I believe that there are many churches today that are visibly dead yet there are weak vital signs, a few still holding on)
This church is told to “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die.” It wasn’t yet a total flat line for the church. There was a small glimmer of hope for the church, but it would require a great deal of work.
Church success, growth, health, whatever you want to call it is never easy. It requires constant attention and vigilance. It isn’t something that just happens.
· REMEMBER what was RECEIVED.
This church is told to look back and remember what they received in the past. The church at Ephesus was told, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen.” While we can’t live off the past, we can look back and see where we were. We should constantly be growing closer to God, individually and as a church.
If we were to graph our spiritual growth we would see peaks and valleys. This church was in the pit of a valley. Christ tells them to remember that mountain top experience.
I challenge you to look back on your life and remember the joy you had when you received Christ.
Remember the joy and expectations at points in the past for our church.
· RETAIN what was RECEIVED.
This church was told to keep what they received. It is easy to slip and slide away from the Lord. The passion for others and the joy of the Lord can easily be lost if we don’t seek to actively retain them. We have to remember what we have learned and what we have received from the Lord. We also have to retain it.
Learning is something that we have to do in order to grow. The experiences we have are used to make us more mature.
· REPENT the WRONGDOING.
Again, here, we have the command to repent.
The Ephesians were told, “Repent, and do the works you did at first.”
The church at Pergamus was told, “Therefore, repent.”
The false prophetess at Thyatira had been given an opportunity to repent.
Now the church at Sardis is told, “Repent.”
Again, repent means a “change of mind.” The Amplified Bible says of repentance in the Ephesian letter, “change the inner [person] to meet God’s will.” It’s an “about face.”
This means that we are to get our life in line with God’s will for us.