Revelation Chapter 3
Revelation 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. Verse 2.. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. The seven spirits being the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 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. Verse 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. Verse 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. Verse 6.. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
This church looks a lot like the Protestant Reformation. To get a picture of dead Protestantism, we can take a look at Europe. We see a post-Christian era. Dark, no life, dead. The Protestant Reformation wasn't complete. Many pagan practices that originated in Babylonian religious systems were adopted. The celebration of Saturnalia for example. This was a huge celebration of drunkenness, feasting and the exchanging of gifts during the winter solstice. This occurred around December 25th. In an effort to convert the pagans, the early church changed the name of the holiday to Christmas. This didn't seem to stop the party though. Today people are still given to drink, feasting and gift giving. I doubt that most folks even think about Jesus while they are fighting the crowds and lines of people trying to do last minute Christmas shopping.
But not all is lost. There are a few which have not defiled their garments. So be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.
Verse 7.. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hat the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Verse 9.. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
No rebuke for this church. They have a little strength which is enough. An open door allows them the go forth and bear fruit. Their ministry is effective and life giving. If the Lord opens the door, no man can close it. If the Lord has set you on your course, you don't have to fear when any man comes against you!
This is not a super church, these are not super saints. There is a doctrine known as the manifested sons of God that advocates the super sainthood. One of these days we are going to go into the phone booth and change our clothes and we are going to come out with super power and we are going to just point at the Russians and they will just shrivel and die. And all of the enemies of God we are just going to subdue when we are manifested finally as the sons of God before the world. Balderdash. You have a little strength.
We are not very strong. You know it is true that God is doing a wonderful work here and it is exciting to see what God is doing, but we have hardly touched the tri state area. There are so many out there who need Jesus Christ. We can't really sit back and say, "Look, how many we have got coming here." There are so many more to be reached. We have a little strength. Thank God we have a little strength. Thank God that He has set before us the open door.
Verse 10.. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. So this church won't be going into the tribulation period. They will be kept from that hour, that time which shall come upon all the world. This is the church that I want to be in!
Verse 11.. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Verse 12.. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. Verse 13.. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
These verses speak of permanency. Secured and established. Overcoming the world (with His help) enables us to reap these wonderful benefits.
Verse 14.. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; Verse 15.. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold of hot. Verse 16.. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Verse 17.. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: What a difference between how we think of ourselves and how the Lord thinks of us! Verse 18.. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
A lukewarm condition. Indifference to what is happening in the church. Probably accepting all sorts of teachings and doctrines. Trusting in their increase and numbers. Rich in their own eyes. The final apostate condition of the church, the church of Laodicea represented by those ministers that are pro-abortion and pro-pornography and pro homosexual and pro every other evil that comes down the pike, who dress in clerical robes and claim to be ministers of Jesus Christ but are really of the synagogue of Satan.
Actually the church has put Christ on the outside. You read the polls and it is frightening to find out how many ministers do not really believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, do not believe in the virgin birth, do not believe that there is an actual heaven or hell. The percentages are falling. It is sad. You wonder why they are ministers. You might as well establish another religion on Mother Goose rhymes or something, or Aesops Fables. Why espouse a book that you can't trust or is not true? In Thessalonians Paul said that the wicked one won't be revealed until there is a falling away. 2 Thess. 2:3
The Laodiceans are trusting in their riches and are missing the mark. This brings to mind the story of Jesus and the rich ruler. Luke 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Verse 19.. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Verse 20.. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother. Verse 21.. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.Verse 22.. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. Verse 23.. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. Verse 24.. And when Jesus say that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! Verse 25.. For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, that for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Verse 19.. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Verse 20.. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Verse 21.. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Verse 22.. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Eating with someone signified becoming one with that person. Jesus was always wanting to eat supper with people. He wants to become one with you. I always like to say that relationship is the currency of the kingdom. Gold and silver will not hold their value in the kingdom. As a matter of fact, they will be used as pavement which we will see later on in Revelation. But right standing; relationship with the Lord holds much value. Drawing closer and closer to Him will translate into riches in the kingdom to come. It will also enable peace and blessed recreation in your life in this world. Just open the door and He will come in and become one with you. He will eat supper with you!