Wake Up!

12 09 2013

Jesus address a sleeping church in Revelations 3:1 “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.”

Matthew Henry’s commentary reads: “This church was not really what it was reputed to be. They had a name to live, but they were dead; there was a form of godliness, but not the power, a name to live, but not a principle of life. If there was not a total privation of life, yet there was a great deadness in their souls and in their services, a great deadness in the spirits of their ministers, and a great deadness in their ministrations, in their praying, in their preaching, in their converse, and a great deadness in the people in hearing, in prayer, and in conversation; what little life was yet left among them was, in a manner, expiring, ready to die.”

When I read that I see a problem that is common in our brotherhood today. The church in Sardis was asleep! Sure everything looked ok, but they were asleep = stuck.

The problem was this: They had believed and obeyed, but had stopped there. This presented a problem for them and it presents a problem for us today. Here is the problem: You can’t stand still in your Spiritual life! You’re either moving forward or you’re moving backward. There is no neutral!

Most modern scholars agree on this point: The church in Sardis was full of people who had Heard, Believed and obeyed the Gospel (and yes that means they had been baptized) but that is where they stopped. They did not advance on and spread the gospel. In other words, they were selfish! They had found the greatest treasure of all time, and they were keeping it to themselves.

Look at what Jesus says to them in verse 2-3, “ Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, 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.”

And now look at verse 4-6, “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. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

In most churches you will find both types of people:

Some have heard, believed and obeyed but are not Spreading the Good News to others.
Some have heard, believed and obeyed and are Spreading the Good News to others.

Which are you? Are you keeping the good news to yourself?

Let me make one thing perfectly clear, God is not pleased with people who “Keep the Good News to themselves”. He wants all men saved!

God calls us to Repent!

Time to Turn!

24 04 2012

From time to time I get an e-mail or a phone call from a Campus Minister asking my advice on how to turn their ministry around.  Usually they are shrinking instead of growing.   What follows is where I always try to start because I believe it is the basis of a growing Campus Ministry. It starts with four goals:


Seek the face of the LORD.

                Repent of sin.

                Humble ourselves before God.

                Cry out for revival.


In order to accomplish these four goals I suggest a Paradigm Shift (a turning).

1.  Turn from pride, smugness, and self-righteous attitudes and turn back to God in deep repentance seeking a whole new love for Him, His word and for all of His people.

2. Turn from impurity of life, compromise of sin and partial holiness and turn to Biblical standards of holiness and moral purity in our lives.

3.  Turn from placing primary emphasis on programs, events and activities to seeking His presence in our lives.

4.  Turn from prayerlessness (occasional prayer) to making our ministries and our lives, houses of prayer. Become a prayer culture.

5.  Turn from “going to church” mentality to “being the church”. Move from a “building our ministry” focus to a “Kingdom Focus”.  Move towards the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Move from a fortress mentality of “protecting our own” to an offensive posture of taking Christ to others.

6.  Turn from a “peacetime mentality” to a “Wartime mentality”.  Recognize that we are at war against our enemy, Satan, and arm ourselves Spiritually and use supernatural weapons of war that God had placed at our disposal. We must see prayer as a weapon of our warfare.


Please look over this list and feel free to add to the list or to comment on how we (the Church) can accomplish this task.