We spent our time together yesterday in Revelation 2. This is a well known part of Revelation. This week, we will continue to discuss the specific words to the 7 churches in Revelation 3. This chapter is slightly more famous than the previous one. Almost all Christians have heard at least one sermon about the church at Laodicea.
As I mentioned on Sunday, we are moving fairly quickly through these letters. While we are unable to cover every aspect of each letter, we recognize a consistent pattern. Let me invite you to read Revelation 3 as you prepare for worship on Sunday. I will include the passage in the NTE (New Testament for Everyone) translation.
(Revelation 3 NTE) ‘Write this to the angel of the church in Sardis. “These are the words of the one who has the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars. I know what you have done. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen the things that remain – the things that are about to die – because I haven’t found your works to be complete in the sight of my God. So remember how you received the message, how you heard it and kept it – and repent! So if you don’t keep awake, I will come like a thief, and you won’t know what time I’m coming to you. You do, however, have a few people in Sardis who haven’t allowed their clothes to become dirty and polluted. They will be clothed in white and will walk with me, as they deserve. Anyone who conquers will be clothed like this in white robes, and I won’t blot their name out of the book of life. I will acknowledge their name in the presence of my father and in the presence of his angels. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the spirit is saying to the churches.” ‘Write this to the angel of the church in Philadelphia. “These are the words of the Holy One, the True One, the one who has the key of David, who opens and nobody shuts, who shuts and nobody opens. I know your works. Look! I have given you an open door, right in front of you, and nobody can shut it, since you have a little power; you have kept my word, and you haven’t denied my name. Look: this is what I will do to the satan-synagogue, who call themselves Jews but who are frauds, nothing of the kind. Take note: this is what I will grant you – that I will make them come and worship before your feet, and they will know that I have loved you. You have kept my word about patience, and so I will keep you from the time of trial that is going to come upon the whole world, to test out all the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming quickly! Hold on to what you have, so that nobody takes away your crown. Anyone who conquers, I will make them a pillar in the temple of my God. They will never go out of it again. I will write on that person 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. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the spirit is saying to the churches.” ‘Write this to the angel of the church in Laodicea. “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I’m rich! I’ve done well! I don’t need anything!’ – but you don’t know that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. This is my advice to you: buy from me gold refined in the fire – that’ll make you rich! – and white clothes to cover yourselves and prevent your shameful nakedness being seen; and also healing ointment to put on your eyes, so that you will be able to see. When people are my friends, I tell them when they’re in the wrong, and I punish them for it; so stir up your spirits and repent! Look! I’m standing here, knocking at the door. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to them and eat with them, and they with me. This will be my gift to the one who conquers: I will sit them beside me on my throne, just as I conquered and sat with my father on his throne. Let the one who has an ear listen to what the spirit is saying to the churches.”