Revelation 3: 1-6 the message to the church in Sardis. Verses 1-2, “you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die…”
Notice, Jesus announces Himself first as the One holding the 7 spirits of God and the 7 stars. He is the fullness of the Holy Spirit and holds those who are His messengers in His hand. He has come to rescue and save these church people from dying, from their light going out!
Again, these people look like good people, have some good deeds even if unfinished, and have a good reputation. But, their clothes are soiled. They do not take time to get them cleaned. They do not confess their sins or fellowship with Jesus personally. They are unresponsive in their relationship with Jesus, like sleeping, comatose, almost dead! They are not awake and living in His forgiveness and fellowship to be cleaned and enabled to change into His righteous ways. His Words of instructions are there to be heard and read, but they are sleeping, not hearing or paying attention, even when the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin.
Verse 3 tells them to remember what they did hear…what brought them to faith in Jesus! Remember their repentance from sin and promise to love and follow Jesus! Hold fast to Jesus, His Word…He is the Word. Repent and change. Repentance is not a one time thing to get salvation. It is a lifelong process in our relationship with God that we might be trained to walk with Him in righteousness.
Remember this first step? Wake up! Remember the turning point for the prodigal son who was filthy in the world? He came to His senses and remembered his good father and what it was like in his father’s house! Wake up!
What happens if they do not wake up? They will be surprised when Jesus comes! This reminds me of 1 Thessalonians 5:2 where Paul tells us that the Day of the Lord will come like thief in the night for those who are asleep. But, verse 4 says that the children of light will not be in darkness so they will not be surprised. I can also see where those who are sleeping might be surprised in normal life with “visitations” of Jesus, especially when He is tryig to convict, rebuke, or correct them to bring them back to Himself. Flesh does not lie those “visitations” and would rather go back to sleep. But, that is very dangerous living, bordering on death!
What happens to those who wake up, repent, and change? They will begin to see and hear again! They will come to know Father, Son Jesus, and Holy Spirit more, and more intimately! They will hear His voice! They will be alive and walk with Jesus! He will give them clean white robes of righteousness. Jesus will acknowledge them before the Father and their name is permanently written in His Book of Life. In their close relationship with Jesus, they are victorious over evil!
Now, that should give great incentive to listen, wake up, come to our spiritual senses, repent, and really take time to live and walk with Jesus…giving priority attention to His Holy Spirit! His love shakes us awake so we do not miss His abundant life!