Just because a person is in a spiritually dead Church does not necessary mean they are spiritually dead. This might surprise you because those who have spiritual life seek the Living Word. They need life and light. However true this might be, some seem to exist in the mud and mire of deadness. It might because loved ones or friends are there. It might be because their parents or grandparents planted the Church … now it is dead … and they remain. In the Church at Sardis … maybe shockingly so, the pastor and congregation heard the letter read and found there were a few “saints” in the Church.
4) Amazingly, the people of God are to be found everywhere!
Rev 3:4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes.
Within this dead, lifeless Church there were those who enjoyed the light and life of God. Amongst the graves of the dead were the souls of the living. In the vineyard were dead vines, yet strangely there were green shoots promising another harvest. Within godless families, in evil places of work and even in dead Churches there are Children of God … those who have not participated in the wicked deeds of the dead. (Have not soiled their clothes). God has His people everywhere. People who are true to Him, faithful to His Word and passionate about His Cause. The Lord Jesus has His stamp of approval upon them. They might live amongst the dead but they have a purpose where they are. We, the true children of the Living God, have a purpose wherever we are … even when we as the living, live amongst the dead. (1) Our Lord Jesus quoted from Isaiah 9 … recorded in
Mt 4:16 “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
In verse 16 we are reminded that people without God in their lives live in spiritual darkness and in the shadow of death. He comes as Light to usher in the New Dawn. The way He does this is to preach “repentance”. In Him we His people are light and need to use His modelling as our example. He teaches in the next chapter
Mt 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Jesus says we His people are the “light of the world”. Having God’s spiritual light within (The Holy Spirit), His light in us shines into the world of darkness all around us. He uses two easy to understand examples … a city on a hill lets its lights shine so that the distant traveler can see it at night. The lamp on the stand lights up the whole room at night. So … the Child of God must allow the light of God to shine into the world by being His dedicated servants (good deeds). How will the hopeless world ever taste true hope in Jesus unless they see us in action … see our pursuit of holiness and our serving the Lord Jesus to serve the world for the glory of God?
(2) Although we people of God live in a world surrounded by darkness, our privilege is not just serving Jesus with the Gospel, we will received our Lord’s blessings in the most delightful way!
Rev 3:4 They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.
There are three things here …
(a) We will walk with Jesus. This makes me think Enoch
Ge 5:21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
He walked with God and his reward was … he was no more … God took him home. There is nothing more special, beautiful and delightful than walking with God. How do we do this? Look at …
Gal 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
We live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit by knowing and living according to the Scriptures of which He is the actual author.
(b) We will be dressed in white. The phrase “dressed in white” is eschatological because it anticipates verse 5. The picture is heaven
Rev 7:9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.
They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Those “white robes” are prefigured in
Isa 61:10 I delight greatly in the LORD, my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
c) We are worthy. How is it possible for us saved sinners to be worthy? In Jesus we are worthy. Being Blood Washed means that everything we are is because of whom Jesus is and what He has done for us.
(3) Jesus’ promise to his people and those who will enter the narrow gate is
Rev 3:5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.
There is a register in heaven containing the names of all the elect from the first saved human to the last … and oh … that glorious promise of the eternal security of the saints … I will never blot out his name from the book of life! What glory to look forward to … but there is a twist!
(4) Only the obedient in Christ will enjoy the bliss of being presented to the King of Glory and His angels.
Rev 3:6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
The Lord Jesus speaks here of deep spiritual matters of intimate obedience to the Word of God (what the Spirit says to the churches).
Dear Lord God Almighty, help us to hold the Word of God high in our hearts and minds. Help us to live it, keeping our eyes upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.