What does Revelation 3:2 mean?
ESV: 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.
NIV: Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.
NASB: Be constantly alert, 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.
CSB: Be alert and strengthen what remains, which is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before my God.
NLT: Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.
KJV: Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
NKJV: Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
Verse Commentary:
In this verse Jesus commands the church at Sardis to wake up. It had fallen into a slumber in which it supposed everything was fine. It took for granted that it could go on indefinitely without changing its attitude. It assumed it could live on its reputation, but it was a false assumption, just as the city in years past had thought it was immune to attack but had a disastrous fall. Complacency was the church's subtle enemy, so it was important for the church to be vigilant and strengthen the few good things that remained. Jesus described the church's works as incomplete under God's scrutiny. There was still work to be done for God.

Complacency is still a powerful enemy that may gain a stranglehold on a church. It lulls church members into a satisfaction with the way things are. If a church refuses to make necessary changes to failed attitudes and programs, it needs to heed Jesus' command to wake up and strengthen what remains. A complacent church often speaks of its past successes instead of planning future victories, or seems to say "we used to…" more than other churches. A complacent church's last words may well be, "We've never done it that way before."
Verse Context:
Revelation 3:1–6 comprises the letter Jesus dictated to John to send to the church in Sardis. The church's reputation was a far cry from reality. It had a reputation of being a live church, but actually it was dead. While this reputation is—technically—a praise, it's a hollow one. Jesus instructed this church to wake up and strengthen what remained. All was not lost, though. A few members of the church were true to the faith, and Jesus promised they would walk with Him in purity. He would also keep their names in the book of life and confess their names before His Father.
Chapter Summary:
These final letters symbolize Church history from AD 1500 to the Rapture, the event that transports the Church from earth to be with Jesus. Sardis had a good reputation, but it was actually spiritually dead. Philadelphia had a good opportunity to spread the gospel, and it had kept Jesus' word and had remained loyal to Him. As such, Jesus promises to reward this church's conquerors. Laodicea was proud of its wealth, but was spiritually lukewarm, a characteristic that Jesus detests. He promises to fellowship with anyone in the church who would heed His voice and welcome Him. Laodicea is the only church given no praise by Christ.
Chapter Context:
This chapter concludes the letters Jesus instructed the apostle John to write to seven churches in Asia Minor. Those messages began in chapter 2. This passage ends the section of Revelation that describes the things that are (Revelation 1:19), meaning the things which existed in John's lifetime. Chapter 1 describes what John had seen (Revelation 1:19), and chapter 4 begins John's account of what was to take place in the future (Revelation 1:19).
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
Accessed 5/26/2024 4:58:05 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com