Revelation 3:1-6 “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
Text Hebrews 4:13 “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
While on the Isle Patmos, John encountered a voice, a visit, and a vision from Christ, the Head of the Church (see Revelation 1:10-16). It was then that John was commissioned to write letters to seven specific churches located in Asia Minor. In every letter Our Lord declares. “I know thy works.” Christ wants it to be clear; by the means of seeing, I have knowledge, consider, perceive, and understand every effort, act, deed, labor, and the doings of every individual! Having made that clear; He wants the church in Sardis to know what He knows! “I know” the church’s reputation; “thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” The church in Sardis projected the name, but failed to possess the nature! Their religious fervor had captured the applause of society, but failed to command the approval of the Saviour. Because “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (I Corinthians 2:14), they failed to distinguish between a lovely corpse and a Living Christ. Secondly, “I know” the current reality; “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments” (vs.4). Within the church in Sardis; there were two elements; the lifeless and the loyal. There was a remnant that remained true to the Lord by keeping “himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). Jesus makes the distinction between the two groups in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Lastly, “I know” the crucial results; “I will come on thee as a thief” (vs.3) and “they shall walk with me in white” (vs.4). For the lifeless; destructive punishment awaits them! For the loyal; delightful prospects awaits them; the prospects of being clothed, claimed, and confessed (see vs.5).
The pathway that leads from being one of the lifeless impostors to becoming a loyal possessor; begins with knowing what Jesus knows and acting on it!