Revelation 3:1-6 "And to the angel (pastor) of the church in Sardis write: 'The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. "'I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'
Jesus is addressing the pastor of the local church in Sardis. Jesus speaks with the authority of His knowledge of the pastor and church as He has the seven spirits of God. Jesus speaks with the authority of a secure relationship with each of the seven local church pastors since He has each of them in His hand – remember that Revelation 1:20 tells us the stars are the angels (pastors). Jesus tells the pastor that He knows the works of the pastor and church are not complete in His sight. He tells the pastor and church that they have a reputation for being alive, but are really dead and need to wake up and get the work completed that God has given them to do. The pastor is to remember what he has received and heard. He is to obey and repent of the sin of not completing his assigned work. The local church is like the pastor and also needs to wake up and get God’s work done. The pastor is to set the example for the church (1 Timothy 4:12). In Sardis, the pastor was setting a poor example and the church was following his poor example. Jesus tells the pastor the consequence of not waking up and getting his work done is His opposition to the pastor and church.
Some in this local church have not soiled their garments with the sin of not completing their assigned work. The obedient believers will walk with Jesus in white, for they are worthy. The ones who conquer will be clothed in white garments, the garment of righteousness, and will never have their names blotted out of the book of life. Those who are not obeying need to consider if their names are written in the book of life. Real faith has a desire to obey and complete God’s work (Matthew 7:21; Romans 1:5; James 2:18-26; Ephesians 2:8-10). Intellectual faith is merely like the faith of a demon, a faith that acknowledges Jesus exists, but no desire to obey Him (James 2:19).
Is your reputation for being alive acknowledged by Jesus and backed with a desire to complete the work God has assigned you? What would Jesus say about your progress on the works He has prepared for you to do? Ask God to reveal what your reputation is in His sight. If you need to wake up, repent and obey, then do it right now. If you are awake and working on your God-given assignments keep expecting the Lord to fulfill your work with His power.