3 ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.
“If you do not wake up.” This is a statement to Christianity today. It is a statement to Christians everywhere. There is a willful mindset in the majority of Christians that refuses to wake up. If certain teachings are not emphasized, then Christianity turns a deaf ear. Everything spoken in the Christian realm, from the social gospel to the so-called kingdom and sonship message, must emphasize how God wants to bless, and how Christians are a special people just waiting for end-time prophecies to be fulfilled in them. If this familiar litany is not preached, then it is rejected as false, or ironically, religious. This in truth is the Adamic, religious realm that refuses to hear the call of repentance. Christians repent? Of what? It’s an hour of humbling oneself before God. Let’s go back one verse in Rev. 3.
2 ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.
Jesus told Sardis that He had not found their deeds completed in the sight of God. So much preaching today loves to emphasize how we are all complete in Christ. Yes, in provision, it’s so. Experientially, it’s not. Quoting Scriptures does not make it so. The New Testament era opened with John the Baptist preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus Himself came forth speaking the same thing: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In all of the so-called kingdom proclaiming in this hour, where is the proclamation of repentance? Repentance is a vehicle of humbling ourselves before God. It opens the door for the theoretical word to be sealed by fire into our very being. A word is not a living word until it has been tried and tested “seven times” by fire within our hearts.
1 ¶ « For the choir director; upon an eight-stringed lyre. A Psalm of David. » Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
2 They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.
3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things;
4 Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”
5 “Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”
6 The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
7 You, O LORD, will keep them; You will preserve him from this generation forever.
8 The wicked strut about on every side When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.
If you can receive it, verses 1-5 mystically speak to Christianity. Falsehood and flattering lips fill Christianity. The flattering lips are indicative of the adulation of the religious, Adamic nature, which parades as something spiritual. “Oh, brother or sister so-and-so, what a wonderful message you are delivering. It makes me feel so spiritual.” Am I being sarcastic? Of course. But it is true. What Christianity needs to hear is a call to repentance. If the opening of the church age came with the call to repentance, how much more the opening of this new level of the kingdom set before His people? Jesus told those in Sardis that if they would not wake up, He would come as thief, and they would not know the day nor the hour. Refusing to wake up indicates a willful choice. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we make a decision to receive or reject the call to wake up. If we think we are already awake and have no need of repentance, we are the most deceived of all. This is addressed in the message to Laodicea.
17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
Christians love to put these passages off on those who preach a social gospel, or those preaching a prosperity gospel. “It surely doesn’t apply to us, we are preaching about sonship and the kingdom.” This is the greatest deception of all. When someone thinks they already have something, it becomes impossible to give them anything more. Notice once again verse 19. “Therefore, be zealous and repent.” True repentance is not unbelief. It is not a denial that the blood of Christ has cleansed us on a certain level. True repentance creates the right atmosphere within our hearts to receive the Lord in His current manifestation. True repentance destroys presumption. This is why Jesus told those in Sardis that if they did not wake up, He would come as a thief, and they would not know what hour. We cannot suppose we know how the Lord will be revealed to us. The first century Jews thought they understood all about how the coming Messiah would manifest Himself. Yet, they missed Him completely. Christianity today makes the same arrogant assumption. We will see Him and recognize His manifestation because we have humble, contrite hearts.
Understanding that the deception upon Christianity is self-imposed should disturb us. “IF you will not wake up,” Jesus said. Our reluctance to receive the message of the cross and subsequent repentance is born of Adam, not Christ. “Well, what about all the glorious teachings of sonship and the kingdom we have heard?” They will be fulfilled in those who have prepared their hearts. We don’t want to be found opposing the revelation of the Lord as He comes to gather His wheat into His barn. When Jesus told His disciples at the last supper that one of them would betray Him, they all became grieved and asked, “Is it I, Lord?”
20 Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.
21 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.”
22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?”
23 And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me.
24 “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself.”
The eleven disciples became deeply grieved. Only Judas, who was, in fact, betraying Him, answered flippantly. God is positioning His people to receive the kingdom on a higher level than what we have known. Psalm 30 says that weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. What a wonderful joy He is setting before us! Let us enter in with humble, contrite hearts!