Revelation Chapter 3

September 11, 2014

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Revelation. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Chapters 2 and 3 contain the letter that Jesus dictated to John to the seven churches. These seven churches were in existence at the time the letter was written.

Remember to hold in context that the Book of Revelation is first and foremost a revelation of Jesus Christ. We need to be asking ourselves what the passages tell us about Him and our relationship with Him.

Last week we looked at what was written to the first four churches, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, and Thyatira. This week we will look at the next three churches, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.

Revelation 3:1-22 (NIV)
1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 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. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars–I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Revelation 3:1-6


Sardis was spiritually dead. Even though it had a reputation for being active, the church was infested with sin. The church in Sardis did not get any sort of “commendation” in the letter from Jesus. They were told to wake up! Even though the church was spiritually dead, Jesus says there are a few faithful believers in the mix and Jesus encourages them.

Revelation 3:7-13


Philadelphia was located in a frontier area that was a gateway to the central plateau of Asia Minor. The people of Philadelphia kept barbarians out of the region and brought in Greek culture and language.

The church of Philadelphia was commended for its faithfulness and there was no rebuke given to them.

The “key of David” represents the authority of Jesus to open the door into the Kingdom of God.

10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

Some people believe that “I will protect you from the great time of testing” means there will be a time of tribulation in the future from which believers will be spared because they will be “raptured” out before the tribulation begins.

Others interpret this same verse to mean that the church will go through the time of tribulation and that God will keep them strong in the midst of it.

Revelation 3:14-22


Laodicea was a wealthy city known for its banking and manufacturing of wool.

The church there was a wealthy church and yet was rebuked for being lukewarm.

Lukewarm means half-hearted, complacent, wishy-washy, following God half way.

They were more concerned about the temporal than the eternal.

Jesus knocks at the door of our heart because he wants to save us and have fellowship with us. He doesn’t barge in or break down the door, we get to choose if we will really open up pour hearts and lives to Him.

What can we learn from the letter to the seven churches that we can apply in our own walk?

Are we motivated by love?

Are we staying faithful in the midst of difficulties?

Are we compromising the truth for convenience sake?

Have we become lukewarm?


Preaching in Shorts

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