3-26-24: Repent!

Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.” Revelation 3:3

The Lord continues His admonition and counsel to the dead church of Sardis. In the first part of the verse He urges them to be watchful and strengthen the things that remain. He is reminding them that He is coming back and the way they are now they will remain (be left behind). They are asleep to the things of God, the things that need to be strengthened.
Remember This church had heard the Gospel. They were not ignorant of what God’s word said. The Lord, here as He does often in Scripture, tells them to remember. This means to call to mind. They are to recall what they have heard from God’s word about sin, salvation and a Savior.
Therefore Because they were asleep, comatose, indifferent to their true situation and the things of God. Because they are in danger of being left behind at the Lord’s return, remember God’s truth.
How you have received Receive means to actively lay hold on. They are to remember and actively lay hold on the truth s of God’s word. The words indicated they had been convicted in their hearts before by the truths of God’s word. Perhaps they even said the sinner’s prayer but their hearts never really turned to God They were like the soil that received he word, the seed quickly spouted and the cares of this world caused he seed to wither. It was not genuine.
And heard They had heard God’s word. It had at some point been preached to them. Scripture puts a premium on hearing the word but it is not just the sound waves going into the ear that changes a person’s life. James says, “Be you doers of the word and not hearers only”. The words was not engrafted into their hearts – they did not realize their personal need . They knew about Christ but they did not know Christ as their Savior.
Hold fast The word means to keep or guard. It means to properly, maintain (preserve); (spiritually guard (watch), and keep intact. It is used in Matthew 19 “where it says “to keep the commandments”. It is used in Matthew 23 , speaking to the Pharisees. “Therefore whatever they tell you [a]to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” The Pharisees had the truth but the distorted it. They did not hold fast to the truth they let it slip into outward appearances and observations instead of transforming their hearts. This is exactly what the church of Sardis had done.
Repent. When one lays hold of God’s truth they are humbled. They see their own sin. The recognize the horror of the rebellion that they have committed against God. They see the holiness of God and tremble at penalty they deserve. Then they see the majesty of Christ as He steps into their place and pays for their sins. They realize He is risen. They have heard all this but they have never repented of their sin from a broken and contrite heart. The word repent means to change one’s mind, to change in the inner man with reference to acceptance of the will of God. It is to say about themselves and their
sin what God says about it. This is the message John the Baptist preached to Israel. “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. We see the same elements being said to this dead church. The time is now, wake up, repent of your sin. Tun to the truth of God’s word. “Today is the day of salvation.” The Lord calls for Sardis to have the reaction of the Thessalonians (2:13).