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Revelation blog post 12: Wake up

July 19, 2014

“When you gonna wake up? Strengthen the things that remain” – Bob Dylan – When you gonna wake up? (From the album ‘Slow train coming’)

Revelation 3:1-6

4 down in chapter 2. The rest are in chapter 3. And next up is Sardis. Their message is from the one who holds the angels of the 7 churches and the 7 churches themselves.

“I know”.

We know he knows. Lest we forget he reminds again that nothing gets past his gaze.

Again he knows the deeds. Another church which is widely judged on its activity. Indeed, good reputation. Of being alive. Can’t beat a lively church. A busy lively church.

But this time the preamble is short.

“You’re dead!”

Imagine the intake of breath as they read. Dead! Dead?

“Have you been to Sardis? It’s a happening church. It’s alive. It’s going places”.

Dead.

Jesus knows how to cut to the chase!

So that’s that then. That’s Jesus verdict. Death is fatal. There’s no way around it. If that’s what Jesus thinks of them they’ve had it.

But with Jesus death is never the end. Years ago John was with Jesus when he told a dead girl to wake up. She was dead as dead can be. But his command brought life. To the creator Jesus she was only asleep.

So it is not hopeless for Sardis. “Wake up!”

“Strengthen what you have got. Get back to the foundations. You are not the finished article. There is work to do.”

“Get back to the basics of what you have seen and heard. Repent.”

That word again. Repent. Christians need to repent too. Churches need to repent. We never reach the point where we no longer need to repent. We know it but we’re still not good at it. Much easier to preach repentance to the ‘sinner’.

There is a threat though. This is their last chance. If they do not repent Jesus will come as a thief. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. With tragic results. Judgement is coming.

But not everyone is the same. They never are, are they?

There are some. We are not told exactly what the issue is that brings such a damning verdict. But a few have not stooped so low.

They are clean. And they will wear clean robes. Some are worthy.

Again the reward is there for the winner. Dressed in white. Pure. In the book of life. A document that does not have a delete option. They’re there for eternity.

In the book and acknowledged before God and his admiring angels.

Have you got those ears? Good. You’re probably not fatally dead then. wake up!

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