“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God“
the things which remain
The “things which remain” is the time remaining for a given church. As long as a church remains, God still has a purpose for it. Once the church loses its life, God’s purpose for it is over. No matter how a church may have failed, God still has a purpose for it, if it secures a right relationship with the Lord.
It does not help to cry over spilled milk. Carrying guilt for past sins is not biblical. Do not look back but look ahead to what God will do through you. Forget those things that are behind. Jesus suffered all that needs to be suffered for your sins as a Christian. Accept that forgiveness and move on.
Spiritual decline always descends steeply when people stop applying the principles of God’s Word to their experience.
that are ready to die
Some in Sardis were about to lose their spiritual integrity. The church was spiritually dead as a whole but there were still some members who had not yet yielded to the things that contribute to spiritual death. Salvage what you can.
Once something dies, what good is it? If our dog dies, we do not keep it in the house! We might even buy it a new collar and doghouse but of what good is that? We bury the corpse. We should bury many churches, for they are long dead. They have the appearance of life, such as beautiful buildings and well-trained staff, but they are dead. Dead churches reek to high heaven.
for I have not found your works perfect before God
There was something missing in the life of this church. They were not living up to God’s standards. The word “perfect” means complete. God does not expect perfection of the believer on earth, but He does expect maturity and completeness.
As long as we are alive, God has a purpose for us.
You might be the most awful believer in the world, yet you can still walk with the Lord for the remainder of your life. As long as you live, God still has a purpose for your life. God’s purpose for your life on earth ends when you die.
Great believers are not believers who never fail. They are believers who know how to get back on track. David failed miserably, yet he got back into fellowship with the Lord (2 Samuel 11,12; Psalm 32; 38; 51). That is what made him great. Christians who think they can never fail will never make great believers.
In this this same verse, the ESV translation in my Bible says "I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God" instead of "…before God". I have kept in mind the statement you made about order in the Trinity, and it has helped me clear up the apparent (but nonexistent) discrepancy of Jesus referring to His Father as "my God". But I'm wondering, why is there such a difference in the translations here? Thanks!
The phrase in the sight of my God means before, in the presence of. It carries the idea of from God’s point of view, or the way God looks at things. God’s standards have not been met. This use of the Greek adverb “before,” we can translate in the sight of. This is a formula found frequently in the OT with the idea before the Lord. This phrase occurs 11 times in Revelation with the local sense meaning of “in the sight of.” Here the usage is figurative—“in the opinion of God” or “with the full knowledge of God (3:2). Thus, the Greek word can carry both ideas of "before" or " in the sight of." Most Greek words have multiple meanings and the context and usage is what makes the difference in interpretation.
The phrase “my God” occurs here and four additional times (3:12; Jn 21:17; Mk 15:34; Mt 27:46).
i have been blessed again