1. The next church is Sardis (Rev 3:1-6). In the timeline of the Church through the ages, this would be the Protestant church when Reformation began. They broke off from the Roman Catholic system. Now the word Sardis means remnant, which is exactly what came out of the Protestant movement. A remnant of people who held to the truth of God versus the Harlot. Many Christians died as martyrs in this cause and is why the bible we have today is in languages other than Latin, as well as not having non-inspired books like the Catholic bible does. We see Jesus praise them for what the people at this church did, yet the tone changes because He tells them that now “you art dead”. Why? Because they had left their ways of following sound doctrine and latched on to “new things” and the church, as many today, have become nothing but buildings that have people in them but are spiritually dead. People go there for feel good messages, to show off clothes, talk about each other behind people’s backs, etc….and are not focused on God. Part of this is due to people thinking that a “church” has to be in a building called a church, and the fact that there are people with too many hidden agendas. Jesus tells them to repent and turn back to Him lest He come on them as a thief and they would not know because they do not watch for Him. Their eyes are not on Christ. Jesus does say that even within that, there is still left a remnant who follow Him. These are those who stand on sound doctrine laid out in the bible and do not fear what others say when they follow Christ versus being politically correct.
2. One very important point here is that Jesus speaks and tells those who remain faithful, that He will not blot their name out of the Book of Life. Wow! So to that, the truth behind “Once Saved Always Saved” comes to light. That phrase is true….of True Christians. Those who hold on and continue to follow Christ. This is Jesus Christ saying this, so you have been warned!!!
3. The church of Philadelphia is spoken of now (Rev. 3:7-13). In the Church timeline, this is the remaining remnant that stay faithful to Christ now, spread the Gospel message, and do not make themselves part of worldly things. Philadelphia means brotherly love, and how better to show that love than to live Christ-like and spread the Gospel message? Jesus describes Himself as He who holds the Key of David. This is in reference to His Messiahship, again, re-iterating that He is who He says He is. He commends them for holding fast and having strength to endure the ways of the world. We are then told of an open door which no man can shut. What is this? The ability to perform Christ’s Great Commission to spread His Gospel message. Now there are many false religions with their own missionaries, and they are pointed out here too.
4. When Jesus speaks of those who are of the “synagogue of Satan”, that is speaking of wolves in sheep’s clothing. In the day of the actual church of Philadelphia, people came in representing themselves as Jews to learn, yet had ulterior motives. When someone does anything to take one away from God, they are working for Satan, thus the parallel of those in false religions today. Let me take that a step further to those who impede the Spirit in churches today by causing strife, teach false doctrines, new-agers, and so forth.. You can classify yourself right along with them as being of the synagogue of Satan.
5. An interesting promise is made in verse 10. Jesus says that since they have kept His word, He will keep them from the hour of temptation that comes to all of the Earth. When you read this, it is absolute proof that Jesus raptures His Church (the Bride of Christ) before the Tribulation begins. How reassuring is that?
6. The last church to be written to is Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22). This church is representative of backsliders today. The name means people ruling. How fit that is with the professing believers today who choose to rule themselves versus letting God rule them. These are those who have blended themselves in with the rest of the world, those who are not a “light to the world”. How many Christians do we see today that mold themselves in with the rest of the world and turn a blind eye to homosexuality, adultery, cursing, witchcraft, the occult, fornication, pornography, drugs, alcohol, and the list goes on. These are the people that feel as long as they make an appearance in church, give tithes, and are nice to people they’ve done their duty. These are the people that think one person’s opinion is as good as another’s without stacking it up to the Bible. These are the people who don’t want Hell spoken of as well as other tough subjects and are perfectly content for the rest of the world to die without knowing the Truth, nor telling anyone what it is. These are people that are neither hot nor cold for Jesus. They are lukewarm. Jesus tells them, and those of you who may read this that the shoe fits, “Because you are neither hot nor cold, I spue you out of my mouth”. So, the person you call Lord, says He will spew you out of His mouth. In case you did not notice, that is not a good thing. One should shudder to think they fill those shoes.
7. How fitting Jesus then talks about how rich these churches are but are spiritually dead. We see this with elegant buildings and such today with nothing inside but benchwarmers. We also see this with prosperity gospel preachers like TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen and the list goes on. What is terrible, is many professing Christians still watch them blind to what is wrong with them. Some know what is wrong and watch anyway saying that they still get a good message out of it. If you fit into this category, then you, are a lukewarm Christian and are in danger of Christ spewing you out of His mouth. WAKE UP!!!
8. Christ tells such to repent of their ways. Regain their gold which is figurative of having true spiritual value versus being poor in it as He describes earlier. Regain their white raiment which is figurative of their virtue of which He describes them as being naked because they have no virtue since they do not follow His ways. Regain their eyesalve, which is figurative of their vision which He describes them as being blind because they do not keep their eyes on Him. Jesus then tells us that only those who overcome will sit with Him. Again, this is showing just as Matthew 7:21-23 says, not everybody that calls him Lord, are truly His children. If you are lukewarm, you are in grave danger.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
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