I found the Word of the New Living Translation helpful to my thoughts about this last, third chapter. The verses about each of the three churches of Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea are arranged in that same sequence under each of my headings, what Jesus knows, what Jesus asks and what Jesus vows. It is one way to understand how this revelation of their history impacts our future and confirms Scripture is still living Word that challenges the church of Jesus Christ and His people today.
What Jesus knows:
• 1 “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead… your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.
• 8 “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.
• 15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!
What Jesus asks:
• 3 Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again.
• 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.
• 19 So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
What Jesus vows:
• 5 All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.
• 12 All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.
• 20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.