In every church, there is a mixture of people whose relationship with God may be weaker, or stronger. At Sardis, the general state of the church was terrible. Many people were not serving God properly, and they did not want to serve God properly. They only cared to impress other people; secretly, they were carrying out many evil deeds.
However, Christ saw some people at Sardis who had a weak desire to serve God. Christ wanted to encourage that desire. So, he gave them the same advice that he had given to his disciples (special students) in Mark 13:32-37. He gave that advice when the disciples would soon be in a very weak state (Mark 14:32-38).
The advice was to watch, like servants who are waiting for something important to happen. If those servants fall asleep, they will certainly fail to carry out their duties. In the same way, Christians must not neglect their relationship with God. Constantly, they must examine carefully how they can make that relationship stronger. Lazy attitudes are dangerous.
At one time, someone had declared Godís good news at Sardis. Nobody was doing that now, but Christ urged the church members there to remember that message. They had heard that message, and they formed their church. Since then, however, they had neglected Godís message and they had followed their own desires. Christ told them that they must turn back to God. They must remember that he died for them, to save them from their evil deeds. They must trust him and serve him.
Otherwise, they would not be ready for his return. They would not be ready for the day when he is their judge. See 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.