Jesus' message to the believers at Sardis
1 ‘Write this to the angel of the church at Sardis:
“This is the important message to you from the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
I know everything that you do. I know that people praise you. They think that you are alive. But that is not true, because really you are dead in your spirits. 2 Wake up! Your lives as believers are nearly dead! You must become strong again. You have not done everything right that my Father God wanted you to do. That is what I have discovered about you. 3 So remember God's message that you have heard. Obey what God has said. Turn away from the wrong things that you do. Change the way you live. If you do not wake up, I will come to punish you. I will come secretly, like someone who robs people. So you will not know what time I will come to judge you.
4 But you have a few people among you in Sardis who have not done these bad things. They are like people who have kept their clothes clean. They will walk with me and they will wear white clothes. They are good people and it is right for them to wear these white clothes. 5 Everyone who wins against Satan will wear white clothes like they do. I will never remove their names from God's book of life. I will say clearly to my Father and his angels that those people belong to me. 6 God's Spirit is speaking to you in the churches. You should understand what the Spirit is saying to you. You have ears, so listen carefully!” ’
3:5God's book of life has the names of people who will live with God for ever.
Jesus' message to the believers at Philadelphia
7 ‘Write this to the angel of the church at Philadelphia:
“This is the important message to you from the one who is completely good. He is the true God. He has King David's key in his hand. With that authority, when he opens a door, nobody can shut it. And when he shuts a door, nobody can open it.
3:7David was a great king of God's people, Israel. David lived on the earth many, many years before Jesus lived here as a man. But both men belonged to the same family.
8 I know everything that you do. Look! I have opened a door that is in front of you. Nobody can shut that door. I know that you are not very strong. But you have obeyed what I told you. You have continued to believe in me. 9 Some people there say that they are Jews. But that is not true. They are telling lies. They are really a group of Satan's people. I will cause those people to come to you. They will show that they respect you. Then they will understand that I love you. 10 I have told you to be patient in this difficult time. You have obeyed what I told you. Because of that, I will keep you safe from the time of great trouble that will come. This trouble will come to everyone who lives in the world. It will show me what each person is really like.
11 I will come quickly. Continue to obey my message that you already know. Then nobody can take away your crown which is God's gift to you.
3:11quickly or soon
3:11The crown is Jesus' gift. It shows that the person has won against Satan. That person will live with God for ever. See Revelation 2:10.
12 Everyone who wins against Satan will be safe in God's house. I will make them like a strong pillar in God's Great House. They will never leave God's house again. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of his city. The name of that city is New Jerusalem. That city will come down from heaven. My God will send it down to the earth. I will also write my new name on those people. 13 God's Spirit is speaking to you in the churches. You should understand what the Spirit is saying to you. You have ears, so listen carefully!” ’
3:12Jerusalem was the capital city of Israel. Israel was the country on this earth where God's people lived. New Jerusalem will be the place where God's people will live for ever. Revelation 21-22 describes this New Jerusalem.
Jesus' message to the believers at Laodicea
14 ‘Write this to the angel of the church at Laodicea:
“This is the important message to you from the one whose name is ‘Amen’. He tells people God's true message and he tells no lies. Everything that God has made starts with him.
3:14That name means: ‘God's promises will happen because of him’.
15 I know everything that you do. I know that you are neither cold nor hot. It would be better if you were either cold or hot. 16 But you are only warm. Because you are neither cold nor hot, I am ready to throw you away completely.
3:16In a place near to Laodicea, hot water came up out of the ground. People used the hot water like a medicine. But by the time this water reached Laodicea city, it was not hot. It was only warm. Also, at another city near Laodicea, cold water came up out of the ground. This cold water was good to drink. But by the time it reached Laodicea through a pipe, it too became warm. So then people did not like to drink it. So, people could use both the hot water and the cold water where they came out of the ground. But they did not like the warm water at Laodicea. In these verses, Jesus is saying that he will not use the Christians at Laodicea. They are like the warm water that is not good for anything.
17 You say, ‘I am rich. God has helped me to have many things. I do not need anything more.’ But you do not know how very poor you are really! You are like people who cannot see. You are like people who are without clothes. Really, other people should feel very sorry for you. 18 So, I tell you that you should buy gold from me. With my gold, you would be really rich. My gold is the best, because it has been through fire. You should also buy white clothes from me to dress yourselves. Then you will not be ashamed because you have no clothes. You should also buy medicine from me to put on your eyes. Then you will be able to see well.
3:18Jesus is not talking about gold or clothes or medicine that we can see or touch. He is telling these people what they need inside themselves. He is talking about what they need in their spirits. These Christians must receive what only he can give them. They must stop thinking that they are all right. They thought this because they had lots of money. People with ‘white clothes’ are like a picture of people who are completely good and clean.
19 I help everyone that I love. When they have done wrong things, I tell them, ‘You have done a wrong thing.’ I show them the right thing that they should do. So be serious about how you live. Stop doing wrong things and turn to me. 20 Look! I am standing at the door of your house. I am knocking on your door. When you hear my voice, you should open the door. Then I will come in. We will eat a meal together as friends.
21 Everyone who wins against Satan will come to sit with me on my throne where I rule. I won against my enemies. Then I sat down with my Father on his throne. So, I will do the same thing for you. 22 God's Spirit is speaking to you in the churches. You should understand what the Spirit is saying to you. You have ears, so listen carefully!” ’