“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God”
The word “be” indicates this church was not spiritually alert. The word “be” means to become. Jesus commands them to be what they were not. They were not spiritually alert. Now He wants them to become spiritually alert.
The contrast to watchfulness is sleepiness. Jesus wants this church to be vigilant about spiritual death among Christians. Laxity and indifference result in spiritual deadness. Christians are to stay awake spiritually so that they do not fall asleep at their spiritual switch. Spiritual alertness is the issue (Matthew 24:43). Remain spiritually alive. Continual readiness and alertness must be the watchword against spiritual deadness.
Sardis reached a point where they thought they were impregnable. The city sat on a hill surrounded by steep cliffs which were very difficult to climb and there was only one narrow path to enter the city. Sardis did fall because of inattention. They fell twice in military conquest. Cyrus, king of Persia (549 BC), and Antiochus III (218 BC) both took the city by scaling the steep walls of her fortress. The city did not stay alert. Christians, like the city itself, needed to stay awake to spiritual dangers.
“Therefore He says:
‘Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light’” (Ephesians 5:14).
Christ wants Christians to wake up from their spiritual sleep.
Christians can decline into spiritual lethargy if they do not stay alert. Whenever we do not watch our spiritual condition, we always begin to decline. We lose ground and revert into previous lower levels of spirituality.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).