Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.” Revelation 3:2-3 NLT
God was giving the church of Sardis a "Wake Up" call. He admonished them to strengthen the things that are on the verge of death, but still alive. He declared that their actions were not acceptable to God. Jesus tells them to get back to the things they had first heard and believed. Apparently, they had a good start but had fallen away from His ways through time. He gave them space to heed His call, repent, and see restoration. The choice of restoration or judgment was theirs. Many within the church in our time have done the very same thing. We have heard the gospel, responded to it with zeal, and yet we have grown indifferent through time. The cares of life, the cultural and political climate, and the simple lack of faithfulness to the truth has left us far away from where God has called us. We, like the church of Sardis, attend our "services", go through our religious forms, and feel satisfied that we have fulfilled our religious duty. There is one problem: we have sin in our lives that is either unrealized or we have simply acclimated to it and no longer consider it sin. Perhaps the reason we don't realize our sin is for a few reasons:
1. We don't hear the Word of God preached in the pulpit with the anointing of the Holy Spirit and His conviction. Too many preachers in our time are more concerned about the appeasement of men than the pleasing of God!
2. We have, for so long, embraced sin, culturally, that we no longer classify sin like we used to.
3. We are as lost as fish out of water and don't even realize we are dead. Have you ever smelled dead fish? I wonder how we smell to God?
God wants His church to be holy and healthy. This must begin with each of us getting back to the Word, seeking the truth, and being willing to repent of sin. We aren't the church of the Lord Jesus Christ just because we sit on a pew. Frankly, many of us sit in our "pew" and don't realize the muck and mess we are in spiritually. We are the church of the Lord Jesus Christ because we have been truly "born again". Being born again means to have the breath of God breathed into our lives. This brings regeneration and transformation (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). We cannot simply sit on the premises and claim the promises. We must seek to obey His principles. Wake up church! Let's repent of sin and ask God to revive and restore us.
Rev. Curtis Norris