Wake Up! Revelation 3:1-6

Revelation 3:1-6 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write. These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Apocalisse 3:1-6 «All’angelo della chiesa di Sardi scrivi: queste cose dice colui che ha i sette spiriti di Dio e le sette stelle: “Io conosco le tue opere: tu hai fama di vivere, ma sei morto. 2 Sii vigilante e rafforza il resto che sta per morire; poiché non ho trovato le tue opere perfette davanti al mio Dio. 3 Ricòrdati dunque di quello che hai ricevuto e ascoltato; serbalo e ravvediti. Perché, se non sarai vigilante, io verrò come un ladro, e tu non saprai a che ora verrò da te. 4 Tuttavia a Sardi ci sono alcuni che non hanno contaminato le loro vesti; essi cammineranno con me in bianche vesti, perché ne sono degni. 5 Chi vince sarà dunque vestito di vesti bianche, e io non cancellerò il suo nome dal libro della vita, ma confesserò il suo nome davanti al Padre mio e davanti ai suoi angeli. 6 Chi ha orecchi ascolti ciò che lo Spirito dice alle chiese”.
     The city of Sardis was an important industrial city located on the trade route running east and west and as a result was a very prosperous city. The center of their pagan worship revolved around the Temple of Artemis (also known as Diana) who was called the mother of all living things. This message comes from Jesus described similarly in 1:4 as “him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne”. 
     This church doesn’t receive any praise until the end of the message but starts off with a sharp criticism of its spiritual life. The criticism is: “you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” The heart of the message can be seen in the words “wake up” mentioned twice (v. 2 and v.3). The idea of waking up implies a sleep-walker. The state of their spiritual condition was like being in a coma. They weren’t completely dead but neither were they alive. 
     The symbolism is clear. Jesus is shaking them to wake them up but the question is: “Will they listen?” In verse 3, Jesus preaches the solution: “remember”, “obey” and “repent”. He then adds to His message the consequence of not waking up. Like a thief who comes in unaware, so He will come and then it will be too late. 
      The closing part points out that there still is a remnant (“a few”) who have not fallen away. The promise to these overcomers is that their names will be permanently placed in God’s book of life and acknowledged before the Father. We must be awake and strengthen what we have received and heard.   
Pray with me:  Lord, I don’t want to be like those who give the impression that they are alive but are really dead in Your sight. Help me to be alert and attentive to my spiritual life so that I will be ready for Your coming. 

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