Christianity 201

February 16, 2013

Strengthen The Things That Remain

Rev 3:2  Rouse yourselves and keep awake, and strengthen and invigorate what remains and is on the point of dying; for I have not found a thing that you have done [any work of yours] meeting the requirements of My God or perfect in His sight.  (AMP)

Rev 3:2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. (NIV)

Bob Dylan borrowed this text and asked the question, “When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?”

But what are the things that remain? Matthew Henry writes:

Some understand this of persons; there were some few who had retained their integrity, but they were in danger of declining with the rest. It is a difficult thing to keep up to the life and power of godliness ourselves, when we see a universal deadness and declension prevailing round about us. Or it may be understood of practices, as it follows: I have not found thy works perfect before God, not filled up; there is something wanting in them; there is the shell, but not the kernel; there is the carcase, but not the soul—the shadow, but not the substance. The inward thing is wanting, thy works are hollow and empty; prayers are not filled up with holy desires, alms-deeds not filled up with true charity, sabbaths not filled up with suitable devotion of soul to God; there are not inward affections suitable to outward acts and expressions. Now when the spirit is wanting the form cannot long subsist.

Warren B. Smith at the blog titled Herescope, looks at the difference between a succumber and an overcomer, in reference to today’s scripture and others:

Overcomer –one who patiently waits for Jesus Christ’s return, hates evil, tests and tries false teachers and false apostles, labors for the true Jesus Christ with patience and does not faint under pressure (Revelation 2:2-3); one who does not fear suffering and is faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10); one who holds fast to the name of Jesus Christ and does not deny the true faith of Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:13); one who holds fast, is not seduced by false teachers and false teachings and keeps the works of Jesus Christ unto the end (Revelation 2:20-26); one who is watchful and strengthens the things that remain, remembers what he has received, holds fast, and is always ready to repent (Revelation 3:2-3); one who keeps the Word of Jesus Christ, does not deny His true name, and holds fast to what he has (Revelation 3:8-11); one who is willing to be rebuked and chastened (Revelation 3:19).
 
In short, one who is faithful to Jesus Christ and all that He teaches in His true Holy Word.
 
Succumber — one who does not wait patiently for Jesus Christ’s return, does not hate evil, does not test and try false teachers and false apostles, does not labor for the true Jesus Christ with patience and does faint under pressure (Revelation 2:2-3); one who does fear suffering and is not faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10); one who does not hold fast to the name of Jesus Christ and does deny the true faith of Jesus Christ (Revelation 2:13); one who does not hold fast, is seduced by false teachers and false teachings and does not keep the works of Jesus Christ unto the end (Revelation 2:20-26); one who is not watchful and does not strengthen the things that remain, does not remember what he has received, does not hold fast, and is not always ready to repent (Revelation 3:2-3); one who does not keep the Word of Jesus Christ, does deny His true name, and does not hold fast to what he has (Revelation 3:8-11); one who is not willing to be rebuked and chastened (Revelation 3:19).
 
In short, one who is not faithful to Jesus Christ and all that He teaches in His true Holy Word.

At the blog, For His Glory:

When a church is tolerant of sin, when it stops moving forward spiritually, it becomes a sick church, and eventually a dead church. That was the case with another church, the church in Sardis. And here was Jesus’ prescription for spiritual recovery: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God” (Revelation 3:2 (NIV)

This church in Sardis looked good on the outside, but the fire was gone. So Jesus essentially told them, “Wake up! Stay with me – there is still hope.”

And he says the same to those today who are tolerating evil, who have gone from a little compromising to full toleration rationalization of it. It’s time to wake up.

Chris Crain examines the waking up theme; here is a short excerpt:

Sardis was captured two different times while the watchmen failed to watch.  The city was taken by Cyrus II (547 BC) and Antiochus III (214 BC) by sneak attack.  This church was asleep.  They had missed opportunities.
Spiritually, the church was in a coma (cf. ESV Study Bible) and close to dying, but there was still hope.
Jesus is able to wake the dead.  Jesus gives life to the church.  No man-made program can resurrect the dead.  The church was given life on Pentecost.  The life of the church comes from the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the believer (or church) becomes dull, lifeless and sinful, the Holy Spirit is grieved and the fire is dimmed.

Romans 13:11-12 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Dr. Stacy L. Spencer offers some application:

  1. Wake Up! Sometimes, we can fall into a lull or go through the motions and not realize that we are sleepwalking through our best years. Every morning you ought to wake up earlier so you can spend time with God and get to working on your future. You still have time to do it but you have to wake up now.
  2. Strengthen what remains and is about to die. There’s something you were doing that was great but it’s in danger of dying because you’ve neglected it. You still have time to get it back because it’s not dead you just have to strengthen what remains.
  3. Jesus has not found your deeds complete. Have you done everything that God put in your heart and mind to do? If not, then you are not finished. You can’t move on to the next level until you’ve finished everything on the previous level. Finish what God told you to do so he can take you to the next level this … year.

On the ‘wake up’ theme today, we’re including Keith’s Green video, Asleep in the Light.

1 Comment »

  1. This was a real wakeup call for me. I will ask the Lord as I go out into my day for someone I can witness to. Thank you for making this song available for me to hear.

    Comment by Susan Walter — May 11, 2016 @ 6:02 pm | Reply


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