Jesus’ Letter to the Church in Sardis
1 “Write this to the angel of the church in Sardis:
“Here is a message from the one who has the seven spirits and the seven stars.
“I know what you do. People say that you are alive, but really you are dead. 2 Wake up! Make yourselves stronger before what little strength you have left is completely gone. I find that what you do is not good enough for my God. 3 So don’t forget what you have received and heard. Obey it. Change your hearts and lives! You must wake up, or I will come to you and surprise you like a thief. You will not know when I will come.
4 “But you have a few people in your group there in Sardis who have kept themselves clean. They will walk with me. They will wear white clothes, because they are worthy. 5 Everyone who wins the victory will be dressed in white clothes like them. I will not remove their names from the book of life. I will say that they belong to me before my Father and before his angels. 6 Everyone who hears this should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
Jesus’ Letter to the Church
7 “Write this to the angel of the church in Philadelphia:
“Here is a message from the one who is holy and true, the one who holds the key of David. When he opens something, it cannot be closed. And when he closes something, it cannot be opened.
8 “I know what you do. I have put before you an open door that no one can close. I know you are weak, but you have followed my teaching. You were not afraid to speak my name. 9 Listen! There is a group* group Literally, “synagogue.” that belongs to Satan. They say they are Jews, but they are liars. They are not true Jews. I will make them come before you and bow at your feet. They will know that you are the people I have loved. 10 You followed my command to endure patiently. So I will keep you from the time of trouble that will come to the world—a time that will test everyone living on earth.
11 “I am coming soon. Hold on to the faith you have, so that no one can take away your crown. 12 Those who win the victory will be pillars in the temple of my God. I will make that happen for them. They will never again have to leave God’s temple. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God. That city is the new Jerusalem.† new Jerusalem The spiritual city where God’s people live with him. It is coming down out of heaven from my God. I will also write my new name on them. 13 Everyone who hears this should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
Jesus’ Letter to the Church in Laodicea
14 “Write this to the angel of the church in Laodicea:
“Here is a message from the Amen,‡ Amen Used here, as a name for Jesus, it means to agree strongly that something is true. the faithful and true witness, the ruler of all that God has made.
15 “I know what you do. You are not hot or cold. I wish that you were hot or cold! 16 But you are only warm—not hot, not cold. So I am ready to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say you are rich. You think you have become wealthy and don’t need anything. But you don’t know that you are really miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I advise you to buy gold from me—gold made pure in fire. Then you will be rich. I tell you this: Buy clothes that are white. Then you will be able to cover your shameful nakedness. I also tell you to buy medicine to put on your eyes. Then you will be able to see.
19 “I correct and punish the people I love. So show that nothing is more important to you than living right. Change your hearts and lives. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you. And you will eat with me.
21 “I will let everyone who wins the victory sit with me on my throne. It was the same with me. I won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Everyone who hears this should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”
*3:9 group Literally, “synagogue.”
†3:12 new Jerusalem The spiritual city where God’s people live with him.
‡3:14 Amen Used here, as a name for Jesus, it means to agree strongly that something is true.