January 27, 2017
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
In examining Revelation Praise (how we can learn from the book of Revelation to better praise the Lord) we move on to the letter to the fifth of seven churches, the church in Sardis. I will concentrate on parts of five verses – Revelation 3:1 through 5:
I know you works, that you have a name that you are alive, but are dead.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to
die….Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast
and repent….If you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and
you will not know what hour I will come….You have a few names in
Sardis who have not defiled their garments….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…His angels.
• Revelation 3:1 – “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but are dead.” Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” We can say the right things, but if our works don’t back up our words, our faith is not real! (See James 2:14-26). Praise God that Jesus can see underneath the surface of our confession and will warn us if we are headed in the wrong direction!
• Revelation 3:2 – “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” There is a gospel song that says, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” And even if there is just a spark of true faith left in a person’s life, praise the Lord that He will fan it into full flame if that one cooperates!
• Revelation 3:3 – “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent….” I would expect this to say, Remember what you have received and heard, not how! But how we received the good news is very important! (See Romans 10:13-15). We received it because someone shared the gospel with us. But a dead or dying congregation has little incentive to share Jesus with others! Praise Him that He encourages us to remember how we received the gospel! And the Lord will then use our remembering to “…work…in [us]…both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13). He will use it in and through us to share the gospel with others! (see the March 13, 2013 blog – A Little Help Here, Please!).
• Revelation 3:3 – “…if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come….” We are warned in I Thessalonians 5:2 that, “…the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.” We need to be spiritually awake and ready – “…for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:42). Unbelievers and worldly Christians do not take this warning seriously. But praise Jesus that He gives us such an admonition. It keeps us on our spiritual toes!
• Revelation 3:4 – “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments….” Oh, praise God there is always a faithful remnant! “And, Lord, keep me faithful and part of that remant!”
• Revelation 3:5 – “He who overcomes…”
✞ “…shall be clothed in white garments….” The bride of Christ is the Church – true Christians! (See II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 19:7). Revelation 19:8 tells us of this bride: “…to her was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.” But it is not our own inherent righteousness! It is the very righteousness of Jesus Christ Himself! (See II Corinthians 5:21). He covers us with His own righteousness as if it was the finest robe! (See Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:1-5). We stand before Him as perfect – “…accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6). Praise His holy name!
✞ “…I will not blot his name from the Book of Life….” Our name is written in this Book of Life the moment we truly open our heart and life to Jesus Christ. And it will never be blotted out! We are safe in Him! (See John 5:24; 6:37, 47). Praise God for such security!
By the way, the Book of Life will be present at the great white throne judgment (see
Revelation 20:11-15). “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life will be cast
into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15).
✞ “…I will confess his name before My Father and…His angels.” (See also Matthew 10:32, 33; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26). First of all, He knows my name! He knows me intimately! (See Psalm 139:1-4; Luke 12:7; Hebrews 4:13). Knowing me intimately, God knows all my needs! (See Matthew 6:32). And He promises to “…supply all…our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19). He certainly deserves praise for this!
Second, one day all heaven will resound with my name – when Jesus confesses my name before His Father…and His angels! Praise God that I am that important to
My Lord Jesus Christ!