What Does Revelation 3:2 Mean?

'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.

Revelation 3:2(NASB)

Verse of the Day

There is urgency in these words from the apostle John as he continues the revelation of Jesus Christ, to the church at Sardis: "Be alert," he exhorts his readers: "Be watchful!" is Christ's command to these believers, "Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which are about to die," was the Lord's challenge to the Christians at Sardis, "for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God."

Sardis was a busy, bustling church that had a great reputation of being lively and full of vitality. They probably engaged in many social activities in their community. They gave an appearance of being alive through a bustling programme of good works and an impressive schedule of charitable deeds. However, these were not done through the power of the Spirit, nor were they done for the glory of God. Their good works were not perfect in God's sight, because they were carried out in the flesh. Their good works were done for the gratification of the soul and were not acceptable by God.

Despite their standing in society and their prestigious position in the community, this Christian church was spiritually dead. They had fallen into a narcotic sleep and were presenting no spiritual challenge to the enemy. Outwardly these folk professed their Christianity, but inwardly they did not possess the truth in their heart.

The congregation at Sardis practiced grand religiosity but did not live a spiritual life. They maintained a form of godliness but denied its power. And so in His letter to Sardis, the people were challenged by the Lord to be alert and strengthen whatever remains, that is about to die.

Watchfulness, urgency, and eager attentiveness to the truth of the gospel, was the watchword for the people of Sardis. The shocking truth was that faithfulness, godliness, and brotherly love had almost been eliminated from their lives, and Christ's strong criticism was a warning to these spiritually slumbering Christians, to wake up and to reverse the lamentable spiritual demise into which they had fallen - if the church was to survive. 

The true gospel of Christ, which was once the foundation upon which this church was built, had been eroded, and John was instructed to urge these believers at Sardis to strengthen whatever remained of the faith that had once been delivered to these saints. The church was sick unto death, but yet there was still a little life left and, in this urgent appeal, John implores them to stir up their spiritual resolve and reignite their flickering flame of faith.

The fruitful believer is one that abides on Christ and grows in grace. He rests in the light of God's love, trusts in His Word, walks in spirit and truth, and faithfully carries out the works that God has before prepared for them to do – in His strength. Works, whether good or bad, that are not accomplished through the strength of the indwelling, Holy Spirit can never be perfect; indeed, they are identified as filthy rags to the Lord.

Multiplied acts of benevolent charity, bountiful giving, or altruistic deeds, however admired by man are also rejected by God, and are not complete before the Lord, unless they flow from a life of faith and fellowship in Him. 

No wonder we see such an urgent appeal for watchfulness and eager attentiveness, for although the Christians as Sardis demonstrated an outward facade of godliness, there was a deep. dark deadness in their souls.

May we take to heart the urgent plea to turn from our foolish, faithless, lukewarm ways, and strive, in the power of the Spirit, to be alert and attentive to His Word as we watch for His any day return.

Praise God that He does not cut off such carnal Christians, hypocritical believers, or disinterested disciples, but urges each of us that have fallen prey to this imperfect attitude to repent - to turn away from all that has replaced or removed the Lord from the central position of our hearts and to return Him to His rightful place in our lives.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your glorious grace which is extended to me and all that have strayed from Your paths of righteousness. Thank You for these warnings to get my life back into a right relationship with You. I repent of all my back-sliding and disinterest in what is so important, which is being in fellowship with You. I pray that from today forward, I may only do those things that are pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.

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