To the Church in Sardis
3 “To the angel[a] of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief,and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
The angel of the Lord gave a special message to John for the Church in Sardis. The Lord knows our works and spiritual state. He reveals our true spiritual health to us so that we may be strengthened and start working diligently for his kingdom. The Lord wants his people to hold fast what has been entrusted to them, because there are great blessings attached to that. Often time we begin with great enthusiasm but after a while we lose our spiritual fervor and focus. We leave our work half finished. The Lord is calling to those who have started but have not yet finished. There may be many reason not to continue the work – discouragement due to failures, health issues, family problems, lack of time etc. But remember that if it’s the Lord who has started something in you, He will bring it to completion. You just need to be persistent. Continue working for the Lord even though all you witness is discouragement and failures. Continue working for the Lord even though it’s painful to do so. The Lord is Sovereign and he is the Lord of success and failures, He has authority over day and night. Just make up your mind that you will persist and everything that try to hinder your work will run away. Just be persistent and you will find great reward from the Lord. The Lord has assigned great works to his people and based on their assignments, he has blessed them with spiritual authority. We have been clothed with power from above to do greater work for the Lord. But if we are diligent, we begin to lose our authority and our robe of power begins to soil in the sight of the Lord. Check what has been entrusted to you, are you diligent enough to guard your work and divine power or you are taking the work of the Lord too casually? Repent, if you feel you have gone away from your God given responsibility and work. The Lord will forgive and grant you with renewed spiritual strength and fervor to carry on his work. Be persistent and the Lord will acknowledge you before his father and his angels.
To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
What a blessing to know that the Lord has placed an open door that no one can shut. The Lord starts opening doors when his people persist despite adverse situations and circumstances. The Lord acknowledged that the Church in Philadelphia had little strength but they had kept his word. And since they were faithful and diligent to work for the Lord, they were blessed with more opportunities! Great blessings come to those who persist. If you have been struggling in your ministry and despite working hard for many years, you don’t see any progress, one of the reasons could be working halfheartedly! The Lord knows the condition of our hearts. And if it is dawned to you that you need to do more than what you are doing right now for the Lord, repent and ask God for his strength to carry on his work. Those who remain faithful and persistent become pillars in the house of the Lord. The strength of the Lord will keep you safe during time of trial. Those who look at you will know that there is something special about you since the Lord has written his name on you!
To the Church in Laodicea
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”