Revelation 3:1-22 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Letters to Three Churches
Comments for Study 3

Revelation 3:1-22
Memory Verse: 8

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I. In Sardis (3:1-6)

>1. What do you know about Sardis? (1)

* Revelation 3:1 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead."

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>What does it mean by "the seven spirits of God"?

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>How can churches have a good reputation, but be dead?

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>2. Why does it matter that our deeds are complete in the sight of God? (2)

* Revelation 3:2 "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God."

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>How does verse 3 explain what it means to strengthen what is about to die?

* Revelation 3:3 "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 at what time I will come to you."

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>How is Jesus like a thief?

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>Why will some Christians be surprised at Jesus' second coming?

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>3. What does it mean when some in a congregation has soiled their clothes? (4, 18, 16:15; Gen. 3:6-7)

* Revelation 3:4 "Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy."

* Revelation 3:18 "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

* Revelation 16:15 "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."

* Genesis 3:6-7 "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."

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>Why would a follower of Jesus need to overcome? (5-6; John 15:18-21)

* Revelation 3:5-6 "He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

* John 15:18-21 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me."

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>How can someone in a congregation like Sardis have their name blotted out from the book of life? (1 John 2:18-19)

* 1 John 2:18-19 "Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us."

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II. In Philadelphia (3:7-13)

>4. What do you know about Philadelphia? (7)

* Revelation 3:7 "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open."

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>What is the key of David?

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>What is promised this congregation and why? (8)

* Revelation 3:8 "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name."

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>Why is it so important to acknowledge the love of Jesus? (9)

* Revelation 3:9 "I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you."

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>5. What are we enduring patiently and why is it a command? (10)

* Revelation 3:10 "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth."

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>What is the hour of trial and why is it a test?

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>How is it that we are given a crown and what does it mean that it can be taken? (11, 2:11; and 1 Peter 5:2-4)

* Revelation 3:11 "I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown."

* Revelation 2:10 "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life."

* 1 Peter 5:2-4 "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."

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>6. What is promised him who overcomes in verse 12?

* Revelation 3:12 "Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name."

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>What is the new Jerusalem?

* Revelation 21:1-4 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

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>Why does Jesus say the same thing at the end of each letter? (13)

* Revelation 3:13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

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III. In Laodicea (3:14-22)

>7. What do you know about Laodicea? (14)

* Revelation 3:14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation."

* "Laodicea" -A city in southwest Asia Minor on an ancient highway running from Ephesus to Syria ten miles west of Colossae and six miles south of Hierapolis. Christian communities existed in all three cities (Col. 2:1; 4:13-16), though the one in Colossae is the best known. Paul wrote a letter to the Laodiceans (Col. 4:16) which has not survived, though some scholars have attempted to identify this missing letter with either of the Books of Ephesians or Philemon. Laodicea was well known in the ancient world for its wealth. The extent of its wealth is illustrated by the fact that Laodicea was rebuilt without the financial help of Rome after the disastrous earthquake of A.D. 60. Laodicea earned its wealth in the textile industry in the production of black wool and in the banking industry. Laodicea was also known for its medical school which concocted a spice nard for the treatment of ears and an eyesalve. The major weakness of Laodicea was its lack of a water supply. This need was met by bringing water six miles north from Denizli through a system of stone pipes (another sign of Laodicea’s wealth). (Holman Bible Dictionary)

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>What is Jesus called in verse 14?

* "the Amen"

* "the faithful and true witness"

* "the ruler of God's creation"

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>8. What does it mean that our deeds can be either hot or cold?

* Revelation 3:15 "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!"

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>Why does Jesus wish his congregation is one or the other?

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>How can our deeds be lukewarm? (16)

* Revelation 3:16 "So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

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>What does Jesus mean that he is going to spit lukewarm congregations and people out?

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>9. Why might this church think God was happy with them, even blessing them? (17)

* Revelation 3:17 "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."

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>How does Jesus correct their perspective?

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>How can we by true riches from Jesus? (18)

* Revelation 3:18 "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."

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>10. When is rebuke and discipline good? (19)

* Revelation 3:19 "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent."

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>What is the result of them?

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>What can we learn about Jesus who knocks and doesn't burst in? (20)

* Revelation 3:20 "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

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>What does he mean when he said he will eat with us?

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>What does Jesus promise us in verses 21-22?

* Revelation 3:21-22 "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

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