“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:1-6). Sardis was a city about 40 miles east of Smyrna; the ancient capitol of Lydia.
Jesus is presented to the church in Sardisas the omnipotent and omniscient One. He has “the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars” (v.1). He knows all about them and that their inward man does not match their profession, “…thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (v. 1). Only the omniscient God could know this.
In verse 2 those who walked in the truth were warned, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” They, too, were in danger of the gross immorality within the churches. These had not defiled themselves (see verse 4).
The following admonition is seen throughout the Gospels and the Jewish epistles, Hebrews through Revelation. They were called upon to, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” (v.3). If they did not, He would come as a thief and they would be robbed of all they possessed.
Even a casual reading of Matthew 24 shows that it is about the coming King to Israel. Jesus warns Israel to watch and be ready for His sudden return. “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up” (Matthew 24:43). The parable of the ten virgins contains the same warning, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13).
“…for they are worthy” (v. 4). One must be “worthy” to enter the Kingdom and reign with Christ. This is the essence of the Gospel of the Kingdom. One must be “worthy” to enter it, “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead…” (Luke 20:35). “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36). “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”( Luke 9:62).
The above verses speak of the coming wrath and kingdom. “That world” and resurrection in Luke 20:35 is the subject dealt with in Revelation.Israel is warned that they must seek to be “worthy” to escape the temptations of false doctrine, immorality, and the mark of the Beast in order to stand before the Son of Man.
It must be noted here that believers in Christ today are worthy because they have been made worthy in Him. There is not one thing we must do to be worthy. But, in Revelation, it is the overcomers who are worthy or fit to enter into eternal life.
The constant theme throughout Revelation is the requirement to overcome (v.5). Overcomers will be clothed in white raiment. They will not have their names blotted out of the Book of Life, and will have their name confessed before the Father and before his angels. The white raiment is symbolic of a priestly garment. These overcomers obviously become a kingdom of priests.
In the Old Testament these books and ledgers were quite literal. One’s genealogy had to be verified and guarded if he was to serve in the Levitical priesthood or be part of the nation of Israel. These atSardis, have received the promise of becoming kings and priests, if they endure to the end and are faithful. Although a literal record may not be required, the omniscient One will have perfect knowledge of those who are worthy to rule and reign in that kingdom.
What is written to one is written to all the churches, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (v.6).
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
Sal and Barb says
Yes very glad we are made worthy in Christ!