Chapter 3 – Letter to Sardis

Jesus Addresses Sardis -2

Allow me to paraphrase this admonition.

Wake up, Sardis! While you’ve been carelessly slumbering, you’ve come perilously close to a point of death. So wake up, stay wide-awake, and listen carefully.

Strengthen what little trace of the Holy Spirit that still remains in your congregation, otherwise, when that goes, you will have nothing of His grace abiding in you. And you will die off as a church, and be of no further use to me. For I have diligently searched through, and carefully examined, every effort and work you have done in my name, and have not found them perfect before God (though they appear godly before man). So those things will not help you.

You will find what you need for recovery in those few spiritually pure ones you have been neglecting to hear in your congregation; for I find them worthy, and they shall walk with me in white, because they haven’t denied my Spirit (as you have).

So listen attentively to what they have to say concerning the Spirit. But act quickly, because those members won’t be around long.

Reconsider your ways, Sardis: humble yourselves before God, and start paying closer attention to those precious doctrines deposited into your care; as in the beginning, when the truth came to you with the demonstration of the Spirit, and you heartily received it. Because I must warn you, that unless you do, I will come upon you when you least expect it, and judge your church for its neglect of my admonition.

v.5-6 “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before my Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments…” This refers to the glorified bodies we’ll be given in heaven (2 Cor.5:1-4). The word “white” is taken to mean “brilliant”. So the idea is, having been made the righteousness of Him, we will shine as brightly as the sun in the kingdom of our Father (check—Matt.13:43).

“…and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before my Father and before His angels.” In other words, because our name is written in the Book of Life we are given the assurance that it will not be blotted out. Christ Jesus will claim us as one belonging to Him, before the Father and before all the angels.

Okay, let’s pause here a minute and examine the Book of Life, and see if we can understand what it means to be “blotted out” of it.

The Book of Life is a “heavenly book” both held and kept by God. Its purpose is singular: To register the names of all who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and in turn have become citizens of heaven, joint-heirs to innumerable blessings, and future recipients of eternal life (see—Phil.4:3; Luke 10:20; Rev.21:2, 27).