Revelation 3:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.

New Living Translation
Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.

English Standard Version
Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.

New American Standard Bible
'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.

King James Bible
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Be alert and strengthen what remains, which is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before My God.

International Standard Version
Be alert, and strengthen the things that are left, which are about to die. I note that your actions are incomplete before my God.

NET Bible
Wake up then, and strengthen what remains that was about to die, because I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Be vigilant and confirm what remains of those things that are ready to die, for I have not found you such that your works are perfect before God.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Be alert, and strengthen the things that are left which are about to die. I have found that what you are doing has not been completed in the sight of my God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

King James 2000 Bible
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God.

American King James Version
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God.

American Standard Version
Be thou watchful, and establish the things that remain, which were ready to die: for I have found no works of thine perfected before my God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God.

Darby Bible Translation
Be watchful, and strengthen the things that remain, which are about to die, for I have not found thy works complete before my God.

English Revised Version
Be thou watchful, and stablish the things that remain, which were ready to die: for I have found no works of thine fulfilled before my God.

Webster's Bible Translation
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Weymouth New Testament
Rouse yourself and keep awake, and strengthen those things which remain but have well-nigh perished; for I have found no doings of yours free from imperfection in the sight of My God.

World English Bible
Wake up, and keep the things that remain, which you were about to throw away, for I have found no works of yours perfected before my God.

Young's Literal Translation
become watching, and strengthen the rest of the things that are about to die, for I have not found thy works fulfilled before God.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-6. The Lord Jesus is He that hath the Holy Spirit with all his powers, graces, and operations. Hypocrisy, and lamentable decay in religion, are sins charged upon Sardis, by One who knew that church well, and all her works. Outward things appeared well to men, but there was only the form of godliness, not the power; a name to live, not a principle of life. There was great deadness in their souls, and in their services; numbers were wholly hypocrites, others were in a disordered and lifeless state. Our Lord called upon them to be watchful against their enemies, and to be active and earnest in their duties; and to endeavour, in dependence on the grace of the Holy Spirit, to revive and strengthen the faith and spiritual affections of those yet alive to God, though in a declining state. Whenever we are off our watch, we lose ground. Thy works are hollow and empty; prayers are not filled up with holy desires, alms-deeds not filled up with true charity, sabbaths not filled up with suitable devotion of soul to God. There are not inward affections suitable to outward acts and expressions; when the spirit is wanting, the form cannot long remain. In seeking a revival in our own souls, or the souls of others, it is needful to compare what we profess with the manner in which we go on, that we may be humbled and quickened to hold fast that which remains. Christ enforces his counsel with a dreadful threatening if it should be despised. Yet our blessed Lord does not leave this sinful people without some encouragement. He makes honourable mention of the faithful remnant in Sardis, he makes a gracious promise to them. He that overcometh shall be clothed in white raiment; the purity of grace shall be rewarded with the perfect purity of glory. Christ has his book of life, a register of all who shall inherit eternal life; the book of remembrance of all who live to God, and keep up the life and power of godliness in evil times. Christ will bring forward this book of life, and show the names of the faithful, before God, and all the angels, at the great day.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - Be watchful; literally, become watching. The use of ψίψνομαι implies that the watchful state is not the normal one - a change is needed before the watching can come about (comp. Revelation 1:9, 10, 18; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 4:2; Revelation 6:12, etc.). The use of the present participle instead of an adjective ("watching!" for "watchful") makes the charge more definite; not merely "be of a watchful character," but "become a watcher" (comp. Revelation 16:10; Mark 1:4; Mark 9:3, 7; Hebrews 5:12). Stablish the things that remain, which were ready to die. The reading, "were ready to die," is the best attested, and as being less smooth than "are ready to die," was more likely to be altered. It anticipates the time when the command will be obeyed: "which were ready to die when thou didst begin to stablish them." No doubt τὰ λοιπά may be masculine in signification, and mean those members of the Church who have still some life in them. But this interpretation anticipates ver. 4, which apparently introduces a new fact. It seems better, therefore, to retain the neuter, and interpret "the things that remain" as meaning the few good elements of faith and practice which still survived. The externals of the Christian life were there; otherwise it could not have been even nominally Christian. And these externals might be made realities to support the revived life of the Church. For I have found no works of thine. The difference between the Authorized Version and the Revised Version here depends upon the presence or absence of the article before ἔργα. The balance of probability is against τά, and its absence makes the reproach stronger. Fulfilled before my God. The substitution of "fulfilled" (Revised Version) for "perfect" (Authorized Version) is important. The Greek is πεπληρωμένα (John 16:24; John 17:13, etc.), not τέλεια (1 John 4:18). And "fulfilled" is better than "complete" (Alford, Tregelles), in order to bring out the connexion with the numerous places in which the same verb occurs, especially in the writings of St. John (Revelation 5:11; John 3:29; John 7:8; John 12:38; John 13:18; John 15:11, 25, etc.; 1 John 1:4 2John 12); in many of which passages "complete" would not stand as a rendering. "Fulfilled," or" made full," means made up to the right standard of excellence. The works of the Sardian Church have been weighed, and found wanting before God. "A minister of Christ is very often in highest honour with men for the performance of one half of his work, while God is regarding him with displeasure for the neglect of the other half." "Before my God" is undoubtedly the true reading, whatever may be the case in Revelation 2:7. Only in the writings of St. John does Jesus Christ speak of the Father as "my God;" and this fact is one more link between the Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse. In this chapter we have five instances - here and ver. 12 (comp. Revelation 2:7 [possibly] and John 20:17). In Matthew 27:46 Christ adopts the language of Psalm 22:1, and addresses the Father as" my God;" and St. Paul uses similar language (Ephesians 1:17). The expression, "before God" (ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ), is specially common in the Apocalypse and in the writings of St. Luke and of St. Paul; it does not occur in either St. Matthew or St. Mark.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Be watchful,.... Which may respect both ministers and members: the ministers of the Gospel, whose business is to watch over themselves, their conversation and doctrine, and watch every opportunity to preach it, and the success of their ministry; and that they do not grow careless, or be drawn aside through frowns or flatteries; and over others, as shepherds do, to know the state of their flock; as watchmen of cities to give the time of night, and notice of approaching danger; and to see that the laws of Christ's house are put in execution: and this may also respect the members of these churches, who ought to be watchful, and constant attenders on the word and ordinances, and in the duty of prayer; and should watch over themselves, their hearts, thoughts, affections, words, and actions, and against sin, Satan, the world, and false teachers: or "be awake"; which shows that both ministers and churches are asleep, or much inclined to it; which is the present case of both in this period of time:

and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; not good works; though these may be said to be ready to die when men grow weary of them, are lifeless in the performance of them, and want zeal for them; and may be said to be strengthened when men do their first works: nor the graces of the Spirit; for the whole work of grace remains, and though it is imperfect, yet no part is, or can be taken away from it; yea, there is an increase of it, though it may not be discerned; the work of grace cannot die, or be ready to die; there may be a decline as to the exercise of it, and a want of liveliness in it; and things may be ready to die in appearance, and in the apprehension of believers, but not in reality; and besides it is God's work, and not man's, to strengthen this: therefore they may intend the truths of the Gospel, which at the beginning of the Reformation were revived, and were preached with great life and liveliness; but towards the close of this state, as now, would be just ready to expire, to be almost lost, and dead, and buried, as they are; and which it becomes both ministers and members of churches to hold, and hold up, establish, and confirm: or else the rest of the members of this church may be meant, those of them that remained, that were not wholly sunk and apostatized; and yet were in a very faint and sickly state, scarce any life in them, ready to give up their religion and profession; which should be strengthened, by preaching the pure Gospel, by faithfully administering the ordinances of it, and by speaking comfortable and encouraging words to them. The Complutensian edition and some copies read, "which thou art about lose"; which seems a good reading; and the Arabic version, and some other copies, "which thou art going to reject":

for I have not found thy works perfect before God; meaning that the reformers, and reformed churches, stuck where they first began; and did not carry their works neither with respect to doctrine, and especially with respect to discipline and worship, to a greater perfection, as they ought to have done: and however perfect they might appear before men, they were not so in the sight of the omniscient God, nor found so by Christ, before whom all things are naked and open: the Arabic version reads, "before me"; and the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, read, "before my God". This church, though she has departed from the corrupt church of Rome, and from her evil doctrines and practices; yet did not go on to that perfection which might have been expected and desired, and which would have rendered her praiseworthy, whereas she is now discommended. It is an observation of a Jewish writer (h), that "if one departs from an evil way, and does not do that which is good, he does not , "make his work perfect", and he is not pronounced blessed.

(h) R. David Kimchi in Psal. i. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. Be—Greek. "Become," what thou art not, "watchful," or "wakeful," literally, "waking."

the things which remain—Strengthen those thy remaining few graces, which, in thy spiritual deadly slumber, are not yet quite extinct [Alford]. "The things that remain" can hardly mean "the PERSONS that are not yet dead, but are ready to die"; for Re 3:4 implies that the "few" faithful ones at Sardis were not "ready to die," but were full of life.

are—The two oldest manuscripts read, "were ready," literally, "were about to die," namely, at the time when you "strengthen" them. This implies that "thou art dead," Re 3:1, is to be taken with limitation; for those must have some life who are told to strengthen the things that remain.

perfect—literally, "filled up in full complement"; Translate, "complete." Weighed in the balance of Him who requires living faith as the motive of works, and found wanting.

before God—Greek, "in the sight of God." The three oldest manuscripts, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic, read, "before (in the sight of) MY God"; Christ's judgment is God the Father's judgment. In the sight of men, Sardis had "a name of living": "so many and so great are the obligations of pastors, that he who would in reality fulfil even a third of them, would be esteemed holy by men, whereas, if content with that alone, he would be sure not to escape hell" [Juan D'avila]. Note: in Sardis and Laodicea alone of the seven we read of no conflict with foes within or without the Church. Not that either had renounced the appearance of opposition to the world; but neither had the faithfulness to witness for God by word and example, so as to "torment them that dwelt on the earth" (Re 11:10).

Revelation 3:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Message to the Church in Sardis
1"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.…
Cross References
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.

Revelation 3:3
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.
Treasury of Scripture

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God.

watchful.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps …

Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb …

Isaiah 62:6,7 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never …

Ezekiel 34:8-10,16 As I live, said the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, …

Zechariah 11:16 For, see, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not …

Matthew 24:42-51 Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come…

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein …

Mark 13:33-37 Take you heed, watch and pray: for you know not when the time is…

Acts 20:28-31 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the …

2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who …

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober, and …

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring …

strengthen.

Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love.

Deuteronomy 3:28 But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he …

Job 4:4-5 Your words have upheld him that was falling, and you have strengthened …

Job 16:5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips …

Isaiah 35:3 Strengthen you the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

Luke 22:31,32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have …

Acts 18:23 And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over …

thy works.

1 Kings 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned …

1 Kings 15:3 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before …

2 Chronicles 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not …

Isaiah 57:12 I will declare your righteousness, and your works; for they shall …

Daniel 5:27 TEKEL; You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting.

Matthew 6:2-4 Therefore when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, …

Matthew 23:5,28-38 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad …

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