Rev 3: 3 Therefore, remember~~ what you received and heard, and obey it~~ , and repent*~. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come against you.
Only the book of Revelation specifically offers a special “blessing” for “he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it” (Rev 1:3). However, this blessing is contingent on reading with a willing understanding and then obeying whatever the text commands. It is not mystical, or magical, but practical.
The early first-century church had the appearance of a Christian church but was already declared “dead” by Jesus (Rev 3:1), though a few believers remained. The congregation was mostly filled with fake Christians. This happens when teaching becomes more social than biblical and when people become more concerned about popularity than being broken before the Lord, more concerned about liturgical form than true faith and repentance, and more concerned about repeating creeds or confessions than knowing the word of God in order to obey it.
Any congregation that acts as spectators or performs rituals without applying the Scripture for a personal and obedient walk with God will die spiritually even if the outward form of the church is maintained. That was what happened to the church at Sardis.
Jesus declared they had to “remember” what they had “received and heard” of the teaching of the word. By the end of the first century, they needed a reminder of the truths of salvation by grace and sanctification by obedience.
They were to “obey it.” Jesus commanded, “Teach [others] to observe [obey] all things that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:20). It does little good to know theology without seriously obeying the commands. How often are commands disregarded and disobeyed when arguing for distinctive theologies? Shouldn’t we agree on what to obey?
Finally, the church was to “repent,” as they recognized that their lives were not lived according to the instructions and commands of Scripture. With broken and contrite spirits for how they had offended their Savior, they were to turn from their disobedience to follow the teachings—especially the commands—of the Scripture. Anything less would bring Christ’s chastisement, which could come at any time. Do you believe He means what He says? How would Jesus evaluate us or our churches?
“Thank You, Lord, for Your word and the constant reminders to obey all You have commanded. Keep me faithful to review and repeat Your instructions to myself today.”
In order to practice this command today, I am going to ….
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