“I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. WAKE UP! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief and you will not know what time I will come to you”(Revelation 3:1-3 NIV). How many times do we just rely on the reputation that we have made in one circumstance or another to appear better off than we truly are? Jesus is calling this out when he speaks to the Church at Sardis in Revelation 3. They had a reputation for greatness, for being a good church, but yet they no longer exist today. They relied on their former glory and hoped it would carry them but as we can see, it was of no avail.
Jesus wants His Church to wake up and be the bride he has called us to be. We are living a lie if we aren’t living fully submitted to Him. Our lives speak either to the glory of God or to the glory of Satan. When you honor God by doing his will you are glorifying him, but when you do the opposite; the opposite is true. Jesus wants a relationship with His creation and in the context of this verse He is pleading with the believer to WAKE UP. Spiritually we are dead if we are merely going through the motions in our walk with Christ.
Jesus announces in John 11:11-14 that His friend Lazarus has merely fallen asleep, but the avid Bible reader knows that this man was not only dead but several days past dead. His disciples however did not realize that when Jesus said Lazarus had fallen asleep that he really meant Lazarus had died. The reality is that the Church is in a similar place. Jesus calls His church to wake up in Revelation 3:1 and realistically in so many cases the Church is dead. As Disciples of Christ one may think that sleep can heal the sick as in the case of a natural illness but this sickness is terminal unless cured by the great physician.
There is no natural cure for this sickness. There is, however, a supernatural one. Only Jesus can restore his Church. He is calling to one and all to wake up and seek first His kingdom. He desires us to recklessly abandon the cares of this world and fall in worship at His feet. He is standing at the door of our heart and he is knocking; yet the rhythm of the world is so loud in our ears that we can no longer hear him knocking to get in.
Have we become so religious that we would rather live in our past glory or a spiritual high that we can no longer receive fully from what the Lord has to offer? Have we cheapened His ministry and death on the cross to something we mundanely check off our to do lists on Sundays? Are we living for Christ or are we living for a selfish reward and a get out of hell free card? The scary reality is at the end His petition to wake up, Jesus gives a warning “But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief and you will not know what time I will come to you.”
This should be cause for alarm. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow and if we are still asleep in our salvation are we truly saved? If you are stagnant in your faith do you have any faith at all? If we are caught sleeping and Jesus comes back as a thief in the night we will be unprepared for judgment. We want to be secure in our relationship with Jesus and know that we are prepared for the bridegroom.
Just as Jesus called out to Lazarus to wake him up from his deathly slumber, He is calling out to you. Wake Up! The time is now. The creator of the universe is calling out from eternity to petition that you wake up. You are dead in your sins but He offers you life. Eternal Life and it starts today. Don’t be lulled to sleep. Wake up.