Revelation 3:1-6 The Voice (VOICE)
For centuries many Jews had been scattered throughout the known world, exiled to the lands east of the Jordan River from the promised land by powerful invading nations. After Jerusalem fell in a.d. 70, even more Jews left Judea, this time crossing the Mediterranean looking for some place far from Roman cruelty. That’s why, as John writes these letters to churches in Asia Minor, he recalls some of the most infamous characters from Israel’s past—Balaam, Balak, and Jezebel. The ordeals facing John’s churches are not all that different from those Israel faced hundreds of years before. Many of the same struggles plague churches in the West to this day. The names may change, but the problems confronting God’s faithful do not.
Letter to Sardis
3 The One: Write down My words, and send them to the messenger of the church in Sardis. “These are the words of the One who has the seven Spirits of God, the Perfect Spirit, and the One who holds the seven stars:
“I know the things you do—you’ve claimed a reputation of life, but you are actually dead. 2 Wake up from your death-sleep, and strengthen what remains of the life you have been given that is in danger of death. I have judged your deeds as far from complete in the sight of My God. 3 Therefore, remember what you have received and heard; it’s time to keep these instructions and turn back from your ways.[a] If you do not wake up from this sleep, I will come in judgment. I will creep up on you like a thief—you will have no way of knowing when I will come. 4 But there are a few in Sardis who don’t have the stain of evil works on their clothes. They will walk alongside Me in white, spotless garments because they have been proven worthy.
5 “The one who conquers through faithfulness even unto death will be clothed in white garments, and I will certainly not erase that person’s name from the book of life. I will acknowledge this person’s name before My Father and before His heavenly messengers.
6 “Let the person who is able to hear, listen to and follow what the Spirit proclaims to all the churches.”