• to become complacent and lethargic in the study of God’s Word and in prayer and spiritual growth.
• to sit in worship and Bible classes as a matter of form instead of hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
• to preach and teach as a matter of form.
• to use the ministry as a means of livelihood instead of preaching and teaching to win and grow people in Christ.
Such an active church can seldom be convinced that it is dead and lifeless because of its bustling activity. But Jesus Christ
says it is dead. It is void of spiritual life and energy, void of the Spirit of God. Its works are only activities, only man-made
activities and social services. The works do not have the Spirit of God and His power in them.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he
that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Mt.7:21).
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips but their
heart is far from me” (Mt.15:8).
“He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is writ-
ten, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mk.7:6).
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of
man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (Jn.6:53).
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salva-
tion nearer than when we believed” (Ro.13:11).
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the
Holy Ghost” (Ro.14:17).
“Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years, I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed
upon you labour in vain” (Gal.4:10-11).
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give
thee light” (Eph.5:14).
“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Th.5:6).
“But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth” (1 Tim.5:6).
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away”
“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobe-
dient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Tit.1:16).
“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spi-
rits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art
“For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The
sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”
“And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Nevertheless
they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues” (Ps.78:35-36).
“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with
their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught
by the precept of men” (Is.29:13).
“And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they
hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart
goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a
pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not”
(3:2) Watch: there is the counsel. It is strong: watch and strengthen the works that still have some life in them. Remem-
ber: the church had the services, meetings, and ministries that were needed. The church was doing the very things that it
was supposed to be doing. What was wrong was the spirit of the people. Their spirits were not focusing upon Jesus Christ
and His cause. They were...
• sitting in the services half asleep and allowing their thoughts to wander about instead of hungering for the
Word of God.
• holding and attending the activities for the sake of fellowship and because it was the thing to do.
On and on the list could go. The point to see is that the people were not alive, not spiritually, not to the Lord Jesus Christ.
They were attending and participating because it was the thing to do and because it gave them a sense of religious security.
Note the twofold counsel.
1. Watch: “Rouse yourself and keep awake” (The Amplified New Testament). They need to awaken, to arouse them-
selves, to stir their minds and thoughts, to become alert and alive to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Word of God. They
needed to rethink why they and the church were on earth, what their calling was, why they were meeting together as a
church, why they were claiming the name of Christ and doing works and carrying on ministries in the name of Christ. Note:
the word watch is imperative. It is a command of Christ to the dying church. Note that the word watch is also in the present
tense. The believer is to become a watcher, to become a follower of Jesus Christ. The believer is to always watch and make
sure he is alive spiritually.
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