Revelation chapter 3

Jesus Christ dictates special messages to John the Apostle for the churches of Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

 


 

TO THE CHURCH IN SARDIS

 

VERSE 1. “And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write: “He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars says these things: “I know your works, that you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

seven Spirits of God. Or the “sevenfold Spirit of God.”

I know your works. They were active in doing the “works” of ministry.

you have a reputation of being alive. This is the condition of many people. They are attending their church and doing the works of ministry.

but you are dead. Once upon a time, they were in love with Jesus Christ. But somehow that was lost.

In our day, many people are members of a denomination that makes the faith seem like a series of obligations, and not like a love-relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

VERSE 2. Wake up, and keep the things that remain, which you were about to throw away, for I have found no works of yours perfected before my God.

Wake up. This is the never-ending project of the spiritual life. We are to wake up!

keep the things that remain. We are to strengthen what remains and is about to die.

This is a major part of Christian ministry.

We encounter people whose faith is about to die. By God’s grace, we help strengthen them, sometimes just in the nick of time.

 

VERSE 3. Remember therefore how you have received and heard. Keep it and repent. If therefore you won’t watch, I will come as a thief, and you won’t know what hour I will come upon you.

I will come as a thief. Jesus Christ will arrival like a thief in the night. These people will not be ready. It will catch them off-guard.

 

VERSE 4. Nevertheless you have a few names in Sardis that didn’t defile their garments. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.

some … who have kept clean their robes. These are the “faithful remnant.”

The Bible describes a uniquely faithful group of believers called “the remnant.” Are they Jewish or Christians? Now or in the future? Who are they really? Read more »

 

VERSE 5. He who overcomes will be arrayed in white garments, and I will in no way blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

 

VERSE 6. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

let him give ear to what the Spirit says. When we hear that wonderful voice of the Holy Spirit prompting us, it is vital that we pay attention to it and act.

Revelation 2:7. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of my God.

 

TO THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA

 

VERSE 7. “To the angel of the assembly in Philadelphia write: “He who is holy, he who is true, he who has the key of David, he who opens and no one can shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says these things:

he who opens and no one can shut. That is, “opens the door.”

Christian ministry often consists of opening doors. We open doors for people. We help them step through the threshold into a much better existence.

who shuts and no one opens. God sometimes closes doors. When he closes a door, it is so we will choose a better route.

 

VERSE 8. “I know your works (behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut), that you have a little power, and kept my word, and didn’t deny my name.

I have set before you an open door. Jesus Christ has opened doors for them.

which no one can shut. Nobody, even a church leader, can close that door on them.

you have a little power. That is, you have little strength.

If you feel you have little strength, you can take comfort that it is not an obstacle in your walk with Jesus Christ. He knows your condition. Your own limitations are not limitations for him.

didn’t deny my name. They walked with Jesus Christ. They were sincere. They did as he led.

 

VERSE 9. Behold, I give some of the synagogue of Satan, of those who say they are Jews, and they are not, but lie. Behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

those who say they are Jews, and they are not. Most Christians say this refers to false believers, to people who pretend to be Christian believers but are not.

 

VERSE 10. Because you kept my command to endure, I also will keep you from the hour of testing which is to come on the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

keep you from the hour of testing. That is, I will keep you safe. Jesus will keep his people safe. Our security is in him.

 

VERSE 11. I am coming quickly! Hold firmly that which you have, so that no one takes your crown.

I am coming quickly. Biblically, the word “quickly” is like the word “soon.” What does it mean?

Hold firmly that which you have. For most believers, the challenge is to keep what faith they have, and to not let it be eroded away.

 

VERSE 12. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will go out from there no more. 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 out of heaven from my God, and my own new name.

He who overcomes. One who “overcomes” is the person who does not forsake their faith in Jesus Christ.

 

VERSE 13. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.

 

TO THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA

 

VERSE 14. “To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation, says these things:

Faithful and True Witness. Jesus Christ is true. We can take what he says to be true and certain.

Daniel 8:12. The army was given over to it together with the continual burnt offering through disobedience. It cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered.

John 14:6. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.”

John 18:37. Pilate therefore said to him, “Are you a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I have been born, and for this reason I have come into the world, that I should testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

2 Peter 1:16. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

3 John 1:4. I have no greater joy than this: to hear about my children walking in truth.

Revelation 3:14. To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation, says these things:

the Head of God’s creation. In Jesus Christ, God has established a new order of things. It is centered on Jesus Christ.

 

VERSE 15. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot.

you are neither cold nor hot. They were lukewarm about Jesus Christ.

I wish you were cold or hot. Jesus Christ wishes that we were on-fire for him. Or that we were cold about him. He does not cherish lukewarm devotion to him.

Hebrews 6:12. that you won’t be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherited the promises.

Notice the difference in this Old Testament passage, which calls us to a bland moderation:

Sirach 31:22. Hear me, my son, and despise me not, And at the last you shall find my words true: In all your works be quick, And no disease shall come to you.

 

VERSE 16. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.

I will vomit you out of my mouth. Being lukewarm about Jesus Christ is dangerous. It risks that he will spit us out of his mouth.

Spitting out is what we do with poisons. A lukewarm believer is a poison to the church.

Hebrews 6:12. that you won’t be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherited the promises.

 

VERSE 17. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;’ and don’t know that you are the wretched one, miserable, poor, blind, and naked;

 

VERSE 18. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich; and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.

 

VERSE 19. As many as I love, I reprove and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Book of Revelation and from the entire Bible.

I reprove and chasten If we walk with Jesus Christ, our lives will not be devoid of trials and difficulties. He wishes to help us grow beyond our current level.

 

VERSE 20. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Book of Revelation and from the entire Bible.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. Jesus Christ is knocking on the door of our heart.

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door. There is a famous painting based on this phrase. Jesus Christ is knocking on a door. The door has no doorknob. Only the person inside can open it so he may come in.

In our own lives, we are the only ones who can invite Jesus Christ into our lives.

I will come in … dine with him, and he with me. If we invite Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives, he will indeed come in. He will make our lives rich and meaningful, in him.

 

VERSE 21. He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on his throne.

 

VERSE 22. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies.”

let him hear what the Spirit says. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


 

Author: Todd Van Natta

I was given a great gift. It is to be passionate about Jesus Christ and the Bible and the spiritual life. I am a Christian believer. I believe in Jesus Christ. I’m in love with Jesus! I believe the Bible. I love the Bible. For decades, I've been reading it cover-to-cover, again and again and again. I’ve memorized a whole lot of Bible verses. Most of all, I want the Bible to help us fall more deeply in love with God the Father, with Jesus Christ, with other people, and with ourselves. And I've been reading the great writings from the entire Christian heritage for decades. At Explore the Faith, I share what I have discovered.

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