Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 3:3

So 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.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Backsliders;   Church;   Contingencies;   Impenitence;   Lukewarmness;   Repentance;   Sardis;   Temptation;   Theft and Thieves;   Watchfulness;   Wicked (People);   Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Coming, Second Coming of Christ;   Exhortations;   Future, the;   Hold Fast;   Second Coming of Christ;   The Topic Concordance - Alertness;   Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;   Confession;   Knowledge;   Undefilement;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Repentance;   Watchfulness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Sarids;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Sardis;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Second Coming of Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Sardis;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Repentance;   Revelation, the Book of;   Robbery;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asia;   Magi;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Repentance;   Thief ;   Watching;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Thief;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Sepharvaim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Sardis;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Sar'dis,;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Christ;   Thief;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Sardis;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Parousia;   Revelation of John:;   Sardis;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;   Sardis;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Remember - Enter into a serious consideration of your state.

How thou hast received - With what joy, zeal, and gladness ye heard the Gospel of Christ when first preached to you.

Hold fast - Those good desires and heavenly influences which still remain.

And repent - Be humbled before God, because ye have not been workers together with him, but have received much of his grace in vain.

If therefore thou shalt not watch - If you do not consider your ways, watching against sin, and for opportunities to receive and do good.

I will come on thee as a thief - As the thief comes when he is not expected, so will I come upon you if ye be not watchful, and cut you off from life and hope.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Remember therefore how thou hast received - This may refer either to some uniqueness in the manner in which the gospel was conveyed to them - as, By the labors of the apostles, and by the remarkable effusions of the Holy Spirit; or to the ardor and love with which they embraced it; or to the greatness of the favors and privileges conferred on them; or to their own understanding of what the gospel required, when they were converted. It is not possible to determined in which sense the language is used; but the general idea is plain, that there was something marked and unusual in the way in which they had been led to embrace the gospel, and that it was highly proper in these circumstances to look back to the days when they gave themselves to Christ. It is always well for Christians to call to remembrance the “day of their espousals,” and their views and feelings when they gave their hearts to the Saviour, and to compare those views with their present condition, especially if their conversion was marked by anything unusual.

And heard - How thou didst hear the gospel in former times; that is, with what earnestness and attention thou didst embrace it. This would rather seem to imply that the reference in the whole passage is to the fact that they embraced the gospel with great ardor and zeal.

And hold fast -

(1)Hold fast the truths which thou didst then receive;

(2)hold fast what remains of true religion among you.

And repent - Repent in regard to all that in which you have departed from your views and feelings when you embraced the gospel.

If therefore thou shalt not watch - The speaker evidently supposed that it was possible that they would not regard the warning; that they would presume that they would be safe if they refused to give heed to it, or, that by mere inattention and indifference they might suffer the warning to pass by unheeded. Similar results have been so common in the world as to make such a supposition not improbable, and to make proper, in other cases as well as that, the solemn threatening that he would come suddenly upon them.

I will come on thee as a thief - In a sudden and unexpected manner. See the notes on 1 Thessalonians 5:2.

And ye shall not know what hour I will come upon thee - You shall not know beforehand; you shall have no warning of my immediate approach. This is often the way in which God comes to people in his heavy judgments. Long beforehand, he admonishes us, indeed, of what must be the consequences of a course of sin, and warns us to turn from it; but when sinners refuse to attend to his warning, and still walk in the way of evil, he comes suddenly, and cuts them down. Every man who is warned of the evil of his course, and who refuses or neglects to repent, has reason to believe that God will come suddenly in his wrath, and call him to his bar, Proverbs 29:1. No such man can presume on impunity; no one who is warned of his guilt and danger can feel that he is for one moment safe. No one can have any basis of calculation that he will be spared; no one can flatter himself with any probable anticipation that he will have time to repent when God comes to take him away. Benevolence has done its appropriate work in warning him - how can the Great Judge of all be to blame, if he comes then, and suddenly cuts the sinner off?

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Remember therefore how thou hast received and didst hear; and keep it, and repent.

Earle, in this and the preceding verse, found five steps to a revival: (1) "Be watchful"; (2) "Strengthen the things which remain"; (3) "Remember"; (4) "Hold fast"; and (5) "Repent."[12]

Remember ... "Memory is again the lever for repentance, as in Revelation 2:5"[13] See notes on that verse, above. And just what were those things they were supposed to remember? We are not told, but Hinds is probably correct in the view that:

This could include the miraculous proof which may have been present when the church was established, a remarkable evidence of the truth of the gospel; but it may have reference to the sincerity and enthusiasm with which they accepted the gospel.[14]

[12] Ralph Earle, Beacon Bible Commentary, Vol. 10 (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1967), p. 515.

[13] James Moffatt, Expositor's Greek New Testament, Vol. V (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), p. 364.

[14] John T. Hinds, op. cit., p. 54.

If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

It is common for interpreters to make this mean that John is warning Sardis to be prepared for the Second Advent; but as Caird noted, "If we allow John to speak for himself, he is clearly saying that the coming itself is contingent on the church's refusal to repent."[15] Thus, as in the other references to "the coming" in these chapters, it is a "coming in judgment" that is meant, not the final Advent, but a providential visitation upon the sinful. The Second Advent is not contingent upon any group's repentance. When our Saviour gave the great Olivet discourse (Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21), he mingled the prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem and those of the Second Coming, some of his discourse referring to both events, the first as typical of the second; and the same method is here employed. Therefore, the warnings of providential judgments and "trials" coming upon the church, with the admonitions to "watch," etc., likewise have their application to the ultimate Coming of the Son of God in glory.

ENDNOTE:

[15] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 49.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Remember, therefore, how thou hast received and heard,.... That is, hast received upon hearing; for hearing goes first, and then receiving: the design of the advice is to put this church in mind of the doctrines of grace she had heard at the beginning of the Reformation, from Luther and others; such as justification by the righteousness of Christ, pardon through his blood, and atonement by his sacrifice, doctrines now almost lost and buried in forgetfulness; wherefore Christ would have her remember these things; how that she heard them with attention, reverence, humility, and without prejudice; and with much affection, so as to approve and love them, believe them, feel the power of them, and taste the goodness in them; and how she received them with all meekness, readiness, and joy, when now they are greatly disliked and rejected by many; very few attend to the doctrines of the Reformation. This is exactly our case:

and hold fast; the above doctrines, though the majority is against them, and learned men despise them, and they are charged with enthusiasm and licentiousness. It looks as if there was danger, as there is, that they would be entirely wrested out of her hands:

and repent: of her deadness, coldness, and indifference to these truths; of her unwatchfulness over them, and imperfection in them; not carrying truth to its fulness and perfection, resting in her first light and knowledge, and even going back from that:

if therefore thou shalt not watch: and preserve truth, and hold fast the form of sound words, and keep to the order, as well as the faith of the Gospel, and constantly attend divine worship, and look for the coming and kingdom of Christ:

I will come on thee as a thief; in the night, and at unawares, unthought of, and unexpected; which must be understood of coming to her in a way of rebuke and chastisement, by bringing some affliction, or suffering some sore distress to fall upon her: the phrase, "on thee", is left out in the Alexandrian copy and in the Ethiopic version:

and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee: which, though applicable to the spiritual coming of Christ in the next church state, and to his second coming in his kingdom and glory, which will be both sudden and unexpected, yet these will be to the joy and comfort of the church; whereas what is here spoken is by way of threatening, and must relate to some severe dispensation on her; and which we might now justly expect, were we not in the unwatchful, unthoughtful, and ignorant situation here described.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

how thou hast received — (Colossians 2:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 1 Timothy 6:20). What Sardis is to “remember” is, not how joyfully she had received originally the Gospel message, but how the precious deposit was committed to her originally, so that she could not say, she had not “received and heard” it. The Greek is not aorist (as in Revelation 2:4, as to Ephesus, “Thou didst leave thy first love”), but “thou hast received” (perfect), and still hast the permanent deposit of doctrine committed to thee. The word “keep” (so the Greek is for English Version, “hold fast”) which follows, accords with this sense. “Keep” or observe the commandment which thou hast received and didst hear.

heardGreek aorist, “didst hear,” namely, when the Gospel doctrine was committed to thee. Trench explains “how,” with what demonstration of the Spirit and power from Christ‘s ambassadors the truth came to you, and how heartily and zealously you at first received it. Similarly Bengel, “Regard to her former character (how it once stood) ought to guard Sardis against the future hour, whatsoever it shall be, proving fatal to her.” But it is not likely that the Spirit repeats the same exhortation virtually to Sardis as to Ephesus.

If therefore — seeing thou art so warned, if, nevertheless, etc.

come on thee as a thief — in special judgment on thee as a Church, with the same stealthiness and as unexpectedly as shall be My visible second coming. As the thief gives no notice of his approach. Christ applies the language which in its fullest sense describes His second coming, to describe His coming in special judgments on churches and states (as Jerusalem, Matthew 24:4-28) these special judgments being anticipatory earnests of that great last coming. “The last day is hidden from us, that every day may be observed by us” [Augustine]. Twice Christ in the days of His flesh spake the same words (Matthew 24:42, Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39, Luke 12:40); and so deeply had His words been engraven on the minds of the apostles that they are often repeated in their writings (Revelation 16:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 2 Peter 3:10). The Greek proverb was that “the feet of the avenging deities are shod with wool,” expressing the noiseless approach of the divine judgments, and their possible nearness at the moment when they were supposed the farthest off [Trench].

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Remember (μνημονευεmnēmoneue). “Keep in mind,” as in Revelation 2:5.

Therefore (ουνoun). Resumptive and coordinating as in Revelation 1:19; Revelation 2:5.

Thou hast received (ειληπαςeilēphas). Perfect active indicative of λαμβανωlambanō “as a permanent deposit” (Vincent).

Didst hear (ηκουσαςēkousas). First aorist active indicative, the act of hearing at the time.

And keep it (και τηρειkai tērei). Present active imperative of τηρεωtēreō “hold on to what thou hast.”

And repent (και μετανοησονkai metanoēson). First aorist active imperative of μετανοεωmetanoeō “Turn at once.”

If therefore thou shalt not watch (εαν ουν μη γρηγορησηιςean oun mē grēgorēsēis). Condition of third class with εαν μηean mē and the first aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of γρηγορεωgrēgoreō “if then thou do not wake up.”

I will come (ηχωhēxō). Certainly future active here, though probably aorist subjunctive in Revelation 2:25.

As a thief (ως κλεπτηςhōs kleptēs). As Jesus had already said (Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39), as Paul had said (1 Thessalonians 5:2), as Peter had said (2 Peter 3:10), as Jesus will say again (Revelation 16:15).

Thou shalt not know (ου μη γνωιςou mē gnōis). Strong double negative ου μηou mē with second aorist active subjunctive of γινωσκωginōskō though some MSS. have the future middle indicative γνωσηιgnōsēi hour (ποιαν ωρανpoian hōran). A rare classical idiom (accusative) surviving in the Koiné rather than the genitive of time, somewhat like John 4:52; Acts 20:16 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 470f.). Indirect question with ποιανpoian f0).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Thou hast received and heard ( εἴληφας καὶ ἤκουσας )

The former of these verbs is in the perfect tense: thou hast received the truth as a permanent deposit. It remains with thee whether thou regardest it or not. The latter verb is ill the aorist tense, didst hear (so Rev.), denoting merely the act of hearing when it took place.

Watch

See on Revelation 3:2.

On thee

Omit.

As a thief ( ὡς κλέπτης )

Thief, as distinguished from hp λῃστής robbera plunderer on a larger scale, who secures his booty not by stealth, but by violence. Hence the word is appropriate here to mark the unexpected and stealthy coming of the Lord. Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 2 Peter 3:10.

Thou shalt not know what hour l will come upon thee

The Greek proverb says that the feet of the avenging deities are shod with wool. The sentiment is voiced in the two following fragments from Aeschylus:

“Whether one sleep or walk or sit at ease,

Unseen and voiceless Justice dogs his steps,

Striking athwart his path from right or left;

Nor what is foully done will night conceal:

Whate'er thou doest some God beholdeth thee.”

“And dost thou deem that thou shalt e'er o'ercome

Wisdom divine? That retribution lies

Somewhere remote from mortals? Close at hand,

Unseen itself, it sees and knows full well

Whom it befits to smite. But thou know'st not

The hour when, swift and sudden, it shall come

And sweep away the wicked from the earth.”

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Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Remember how — Humbly, zealously, seriously. Thou didst receive the grace of God once, and hear - His word.

And hold fast — The grace thou hast received.

And repent — According to the word thou hast heard.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

As a thief; suddenly and unexpectedly.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-3.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Ver. 3. And thou shalt not know] Calamity the more sudden, the more terrible; for, 1. It amates and exanimates a man, as an unexpected storm doth a mariner, and as Satan intended Job’s messengers should do him. 2. It can as little be prevented as Eglon could prevent Ehud’s deadly thrust.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 3:3. Remember, therefore, &c.— Reflect again and again what doctrine thou hast received and heard from the apostles of the Lord; for this is a plain reference to the doctrine of Christ and his apostles; from which, as from a fountain, all the streams of sound Christian doctrine have flowed; and from the simplicity of which doctrine the Sardians had swerved.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-3.html. 1801-1803.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2496

EPISTLE TO SARDIS

Revelation 3:3. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

IN the Church of God, there must, of necessity, be a great diversity of characters: and the office of a minister is, to make a just discrimination between them, and, like a steward in a great family, to give to every one of them his portion in due season. But to divide rightly the word of truth is no easy matter: it requires much knowledge, much discernment, and much fidelity. The pattern to be followed, is that which is set before us in the epistles to the seven Churches of Asia. In this epistle to the Church of Sardis, one-half is occupied with reproof. In the two preceding verses we have been led to assume the same tone as is there adopted: and we are constrained to continue it in the present discourse; wherein I shall have occasion to notice,

I. The state of a soul that is backslidden from God—

We shall confine our observations to the point especially referred to in our text; namely, the state of the soul in reference to divine ordinances.

A soul truly alive to God finds great delight in divine ordinances—

[They are regarded as God’s appointed means of conferring his benefits upon the soul. The word is heard, not as the word of man, but as the word of God himself, speaking individually to the person’s own soul. “It is received with meekness as an engrafted word, able to save the soul.” The person, before he goes up to the house of God, implores the presence of God there; and begs that the word may not only be suited to his necessities, but may “come to him in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” Whilst he is hearing the word, he begs of God so to apply it to him, that it may prove “the power of God to his everlasting salvation.” After he has heard the word, he endeavours to harrow it in, and water it, with meditation and prayer; and implores help from God, that he may be enabled to carry into effect every lesson he has received.]

But to one who is in a backslidden state, the ordinances have lost a great measure of their interest—

[They are still attended, lest his declension should be made evident to common observation: but there is not that delight in them which was once experienced, nor that earnest expectation of good from them. The truths that are delivered fall upon a hard and rocky heart, from which Satan easily removes them, even as birds catch up the seed that falls by the way-side. The word is heard either with critical fastidiousness or with cold indifference; and produces neither self-abasement on account of sin, nor elevation of soul on account of the mercy that is there revealed. It is possible that such persons may yet take some pleasure in the ministration of the word, on account of the eloquence of him by whom it is dispensed: but whilst, with Ezekiel’s hearers, “they listen as to one who plays well upon an instrument,” like them they are proof against every admonition which is delivered. Even the strongest declarations of divine truth fail to make any lasting impression on their minds, or to effect any abiding change within them.]

Attend then, I pray you, whilst I declare to you,

II. The duty of one who is in such a state—

1. “Remember” whence you are fallen—

[Look back, and see how great a change has taken place upon you. Call to mind the delight you once felt in divine ordinances, and the benefit you derived from them; and compare with those seasons your present coldness and insensibility. What reason can you assign for this melancholy change? Are not the truths as important as ever? and ought they not to be equally influential on your souls? — — —]

2. “Hold fast” whatever there is of good impression on your minds—

[The truths ye received are yet abiding with you: let them, then, be retained with care and steadfastness: for, if ye let them go, ye have no other anchor for your souls, no other refuge from the wrath of God. I would fondly hope, too, that there are yet within you some good desires, some holy purposes and resolutions: I charge you then, “Hold them also fast:” and beg of God, that, through the influence of his Holy Spirit, you may be enabled to carry them into full effect — — —]

“Repent” also of these shameful, these dangerous declensions—

[Think not that gross outward transgressions alone call for penitence: the inward frame of a man’s soul is as hateful to God in those who profess godliness, as the more flagrant acts of wickedness are in one who makes no profession. Think of the ingratitude which such a declension betrays: Is it for this that God has quickened you from the dead, and revealed his Son in you, and given you such an experience of his power and grace? Is this the return which he has a right to expect? Think, too, of the folly of such a conduct. Do you hope for the pardon of your sins, and peace with God, and glory in a better world? and are you wise in casting it all away, or in endangering the loss of it by departing from God? I tell you, that the deepest penitence becomes you. Yes, “be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into heaviness; and humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, if peradventure, in the multitude of his tender mercies, he may lift you up.”]

And, that you may comply with these exhortations, consider,

III. The extreme urgency of this duty—

Your Lord threatens to “come upon you as a thief in the night,” to visit upon you your inexcusable neglect.

This you have but too great reason to expect—

[Many in your state comfort themselves with the hope that God will not proceed against them; but that in consideration of what he has already done for their souls, he will, by some special act of his grace, restore them to his favour. They will say, “Where God has begun a good work, he will carry it on, and perfect it till the day of Christ:” and “whomsoever he loves, he will love unto the end.”But will any man take occasion, from such passages as these, to comfort himself while at a distance from God, and to delay his return to God? Will any man “continue thus in sin that grace may abound?” A more damning sin than this it is scarcely possible for him to commit. Brethren, if there be one amongst you disposed to abuse in this manner the grace of the Gospel, let him know that he is as nigh to hell as a man can well be, and that it will be a miracle of mercy if he be not in hell before the light of another day: for our Lord’s express declaration is, that “He will come upon him as a thief in the night, and not let him know what hour he will come upon him.” And this is agreeable to what all the inspired writers have taught. Hear the Prophet Hosea: “Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me [Note: Hosea 7:13-14.].” Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him [Note: Hosea 8:3.].” Hear our blessed Lord: “Watch; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. And if he find any servant unwatchful, the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth [Note: Matthew 24:42-44; Matthew 24:50-51.].” To the same effect speaks St. Paul also [Note: 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 5:6.]—. And in the epistles before us the same menace is used again and again [Note: Revelation 2:5; Revelation 3:11.]. Know, therefore, and be assured, that in perverting the truths of Scripture you do but aggravate and ensure your eternal condemnation.]

Awake then, brethren, to your duty, ere it be too late—

[To have “a form of godliness, whilst you are destitute of its power,” is only to deceive your own souls. Look back, and see how you received the word at first; and get back to that childlike spirit which ye then manifested. Your brokenness of heart should be increased rather than diminished; and your tenderness of conscience should be found in full activity. To turn back from these holy ways is to “turn back unto perdition.” May God Almighty spare you yet a little longer, till you have recovered from your declension, and are returned to Christ as the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls! Let this be well settled in your minds, that the only way to ensure the not being taken unprepared, is to watch for the coming of your Lord, with loins ever girt, and your lamp ever trimmed.]

Address—

1. Those who are so far backslidden as to be insensible to their state—

[This, alas! is no uncommon state: for the necessary effect of sin is, to grieve the Spirit of God, and to harden the heart of man. But if God should not cut you off suddenly, though it is greatly to be feared that he will, tell me what you will think of your present state, when you shall be lying on your bed, in the near approach of death and judgment? Let me tell you, that every hour you neglect to turn unto your God, you are filling your dying pillow with thorns, and, alas! are “treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath.” God has indeed said, that “the backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways [Note: Proverbs 14:14.]:” and this may be your unhappy state, in a dying hour: you may be then cherishing the same delusions which you harbour now, and be even more hardened than you are at the present moment. But at the bar of judgment, if not before, you will surely know, “that it is an evil and bitter thing to depart from God.”]

2. Those who are ashamed and confounded on account of their declensions—

[To you I would speak in a way of encouragement. God himself, as it were, feels for you, and is averse to execute upon you the judgments you deserve. Hear how he speaks concerning you: “My people are bent to backsliding from me. Though they called them unto the Most High, none at all would exalt him. How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee up, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? Mine heart is turned within me; my repentings are kindled together: I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger [Note: Hosea 11:7-9.].” Nor is Jehovah merely thus tenderly concerned for you: he bids you return to him; and puts into your mouth words for that very purpose, even words to which he will return an answer of peace: “Take with you words, and turn unto the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, so will we render the calves of our lips.” Then he adds, “I will heal their backslidings, and love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him [Note: Hosea 14:1-2; Hosea 14:4.].” The same gracious overtures he makes through the Prophet Jeremiah [Note: Jeremiah 3:12; Jeremiah 3:22.]—; and the whole of his dealings with his people fully attest his readiness to fulfil these promises in their utmost extent. Then continue not at a distance from him; but avail yourselves of his gracious invitations; so, at whatever hour he shall come, you shall be found ready, and “enter for ever into the joy of your Lord.”]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 3:3. From the reproach(1346) follows(1347) the admonition to repentance. The πῶς dare neither be expressly changed into a ποία,(1348) nor be explained in a sense proceeding therefrom.(1349) Castalio, correctly: “How thou wast instructed.”(1350) But it is not made prominent as to “how finely” the church received the doctrine, i.e., how well they began their life of faith;(1351) there is also no allusion to the simplicity and purity of the apostolic mode of preaching.(1352) In accord with the text, Ebrard explains: “The ‘what’ received by Sardis, it had maintained; but the ‘how,’ i.e., the manner in which it formerly had received and heard the ‘what,’ it had lost. Once it had received this with holy zeal of heart, but now only with the head.” A description of the πῶς, as well in reference to the apostolic proclamation as the reception on the part of the hearers, is given by Paul (1 Thessalonians 1:5 sqq., Revelation 2:1 sqq.; 1 Corinthians 2:1 sqq.). The manifestation of spirit and power which occurs with the preaching belongs to the right mode of hearing and receiving, as it is that mode which is efficacious unto sanctification; cf. Ephesians 4:20; Colossians 2:6. Thus the quickening and refreshal of the dead Christian life must actually be begun by the remembrance ( ΄νη΄.) of their original reception of the gospel whereby the new holy life was wrought. Besides, the two other points of the admonition, καὶ τήρει καὶ ΄ετανόησον, and that, too, in immediate sequence of this, have their justification in the fact that the received divine truth, when it is maintained, has in itself the power to work true repentance, and thus evermore to cleanse, strengthen, and perfect the new life.

Not without artificial refinement does Bengel distinguish the ἔιληφας (“with the heart”) from the ἤκουσας (“with the ear”), and then remarks on τήρει, “in order that your reception may not be in vain,” and on ΄ετανόησον, “in order that your hearing may not be in vain.” Against this distinction between ἔιληφας and ἤκουσας in fact, while it rather lies in the mode of statement,(1353) the order of words already declares, which we would then expect to be reversed; the relation stated between the two ideas τήρει and ΄ετανόησον is, in itself, arbitrary. The change from perf. to aor., in case such fine distinction were actually intended by the writer, can be explained only with Ew. ii.: The Holy Spirit appears to be still present in the church which had formerly received him, but the first hearing of the gospel lies simply in the past. With the perfect ἔιληφα thus understood, the judgment on Revelation 3:1 ( νεκρ. εἰ) entirely harmonizes, because the latter is not absolute.(1354)

In the second sentence of Revelation 3:3, just as in Revelation 2:5; Revelation 2:16, the threat follows as to a case where the requirement of the Lord is unfulfilled. Yet the οὔν peculiar to this passage does not indicate that the fruitlessness of the warning with respect to the bad condition of the church is presupposed.(1355) Against this, the ἐὰν already declares, which sets forth the future as either thus or possibly otherwise.(1356) But it refers either to the preceding admonition,(1357) or to the accusation of Revelation 3:2.(1358) The latter seems the more correct as the expression γοηγορήσης connects with Revelation 3:2.

ἣξω ὡς κλέπτης. Not only is this based, as to the expression, upon Matthew 24:42 sqq., but the entire mode of contemplation, according to which the special judgment upon a particular congregation appears as a proof of the Lord’s coming to final judgment,(1359) is previously found in the eschatological discourse of the Lord, since there the special judgment upon Jerusalem appears combined with the final judgment at the parousia.

οὐ μή. Cf. Winer, p. 471.

ποίαν ὥραν. The ace determinative of time(1360) is not only Hebraic,(1361) but also Greek.”(1362)

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 3:3. πῶς· ποίαν) Regard to its former character (“how” it once stood) ought to defend the Church of Sardis, that the future hour, whatsoever it shall be, may not be attended with calamity to it.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard; to wit, from the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. All true reformation, either of doctrine or manners, lies in the reduction of it to the doctrine delivered, and the rules of life given by them.

And hold fast, and repent: wherein our judgment or practice is conformable to theirs, it is to be held fast; wherein it hath varied, it is to be repented of.

If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief; if thou shalt not keep thyself free from gross sins or errors, and give diligence to do it, I will come to thee, not as a friend to comfort and refresh thee, but as a thief to rob and destroy thee, and that suddenly.

And thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee; I will surprise thee with my judgments, and thou shalt not know when my judgments shall overtake thee.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-3.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

найду на тебя, как тать Это намек не на второе пришествие Христа (ср. 16:15; 1Фес. 5:2; 2Пет. 5:12), а на Его внезапный и неожиданный приход в Его непокаявшуюся, мертвую церковь, чтобы отнять имеющееся и разрушить.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Received and heard; the blessings bestowed, and the truths inculcated upon them.

As a thief; suddenly and unexpectedly.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘If therefore you will not watch, I will come as a thief and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you.’

Jesus’ teaching was full of the need to be like servants waiting for their Lord to return, busy about His service, doing good, and honouring their Lord, with love in their hearts as they expect His arrival. This is what this church must revive if they are to live. They must begin to watch for His return and live in the light of it.

But if they will not do so then He will suddenly arrive unexpectedly, creeping in like a thief, taking them unawares. It is always to unbelievers that he comes as a thief, for they are the ones who are not watching (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 16:15 compare Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-3.html. 2013.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

4. "I will come upon thee as a thief"--3:3.

The Lord would come as a thief, not as a robber. The robber comes in violence, but the thief comes in the night of sleep. This warning compares to that of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 :1-2, and applies to the manner, not to the time, of his coming. While they reposed in their spiritual slumber, the events depicted would unexpectedly overwhelm them. The warning was a picture of their own spiritual state of unpreparedness. It was not a reference to the time of his advent, but it did refer to his coming in the events of judgment, and his coming as a thief meant that they were not alert and ready.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-3.html. 1966.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 3:3. The exhortation to Sardis is to remember, not the simple fact that she had received, but how she had done so, after what manner thou hast received, the earnestness, the faithfulness, and the zeal which had marked the first stages of her spiritual life. The change of tense in the next clause is interesting.

Didst hear. She had ‘received,’ and she still retained possession of the truth; hence the perfect. But she no longer ‘heard’ in that sense of obeying so common in the writings of St. John; hence the aorist pointing to a specific moment of the past. There is always a reason, whether we can discover it or not, for such changes of tense (cp. on Revelation 7:14).—If, however, the church at Sardis will not obey the command to ‘watch,’ she shall not escape. The Lord will come as a thief. It is not the suddenness or unexpectedness of the hour

only that is thought of under the image of a ‘thief,’ for that image has rather its expression in the last clause of the verse. It is the object with which the thief comes that is in view,—to break up and to destroy. Thus the Lord ‘comes as a thief;’ and the hour shall not be known till He is come (comp. Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-3.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

hold fast. Greek. tereo. Same as "keep" in Revelation 1:3.

repent. See Revelation 2:5.

on thee. The texts omit.

as, &c. See Revelation 16:15. 1 Thessalonians 5:2. 2 Peter 3:10.

know. App-132. These words are not addressed to the members of the "church which is His body" (Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 1:23). See 2 Thessalonians 2:1. 1 Timothy 3:16. We do not "watch" for the "thief", but "wait" for the Lord.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

How thou hast received - (Colossians 2:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 1 Timothy 6:20.) Sardis is to "remember," not how joyfully she had received the Gospel, but how the precious deposit was committed to her originally, so that she could not say she had not "received" it. Not aorist (as Revelation 2:4, Ephesus, "Thou didst leave thy first love"), but "thou hast received" (perfect), and still hast, the deposit of doctrine. 'Keep' [ teerei (Greek #5083)], "hold fast." Observe the commandment thou hast received.

Heard - (aorist), 'didst hear,' namely, when the Gospel was committed to thee. Trench explains "how," with what demonstration of the Spirit from Christ's ambassadors the truth came to you, and how heartily you at first received it. Bengel, 'Regard to her former character (how it once stood) ought to guard Sardis against the future hour, whatsoever it shall be, proving fatal to her.' But thus the same exhortation would be addressed to Sardis as to Ephesus.

If therefore - seeing thou art so warned; if, nevertheless, etc.

Come on thee as a thief - in judgment on thee as a church; as stealthily and unexpectedly shall be my second coming, as the thief gives no notice of his approach. Christ, in language which in its full sense describes His second coming, describes His coming with judgments on churches and states (as Jerusalem, Matthew 24:1-51); these judgments being anticipatory earnest of that great last coming. 'The last day is hidden from us, that every day maybe observed by us' (Augustine). Twice Christ spake the same words (Matthew 24:42-43; Luke 12:39-40); which so deeply sank in the mind of the apostles, that they often repeat them (1 Thessalonians 5:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 16:15). The Greek proverb, 'the feet of the avenging deities are shod with wool,' expresses the noiseless approach and nearness of divine judgments, when they are supposed far off (Trench).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Remember therefore how (or, after what sort) thou hast received and heard (or, didst hear—the tense changes).—Remembering that the words are addressed primarily to the angel himself, the change of tense may have been designed to point him back to some particular period of his life, such as the time when he was set apart to his ministerial work. The further expectation is to hold fast, or keep—i.e., as an abiding habit. It has been noticed that this counsel is identical with that given to Timothy to “keep the good thing which had been committed to his charge” (2 Timothy 1:14; comp. also 2 Timothy 2:2). “Repent” is the closing word; combined with the exhortation to hold fast, it reminds us that formal tenacity of truth and a fruitless inactive regret are alike useless. There must be the sorrow for the past, and a sorrow which shows itself in action—a repentance whereby sin is forsaken. (Comp. Revelation 2:5; Revelation 2:21.)

If therefore thou shalt not watch.—Better, If thou shalt not watch (or, have been awake), I will come (omit “on thee”) as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. The warning is an echo from the Gospels (Matthew 24:42-43; Luke 12:39-40). The coming of Christ to judge His Church would be in an hour unlooked for. What kind of hour He would so come was’ unknown; the sound of His approaching footsteps unheard. Shod with wool, according to the ancient proverb, stealthily as a thief, the Judge would be at the door. Yet they could not plead that they had been in darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:4).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Remember
2:5; Ezekiel 16:61-63; 20:43; 36:31; Hebrews 2:1; 2 Peter 1:13; 3:1
and hold
11; 2:25; 1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 1:13
repent
19; 2:5,21,22
I will
16:15; Matthew 24:42,43; Luke 12:39,40; 1 Thessalonians 5:2,4,5,6; 2 Peter 3:10
know
Matthew 25:13; Mark 13:33,36
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 4:9 - lest they;  Job 24:14 - in the night;  Proverbs 28:18 - but;  Isaiah 47:11 - thou shalt not know;  Ezekiel 12:28 - There shall;  Amos 4:12 - prepare;  Matthew 24:36 - GeneralMatthew 24:50 - come;  Mark 13:32 - of;  Mark 14:38 - Watch;  Luke 21:34 - that day;  Acts 26:20 - repent;  1 Corinthians 11:31 - General1 Corinthians 16:13 - Watch;  2 Corinthians 13:5 - Examine;  Galatians 5:1 - Stand;  Philippians 3:16 - whereto;  1 Thessalonians 3:8 - if;  1 Thessalonians 5:21 - hold;  1 Timothy 1:19 - Holding;  1 Timothy 6:12 - lay;  Titus 1:9 - Holding;  Hebrews 10:32 - call;  1 John 2:24 - abide;  Revelation 2:13 - thou holdest;  Revelation 13:10 - Here

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-3.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THREATENED.

Revelation 3:3. — "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and keep (it) and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come (upon thee) as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I shall come unto thee." The "remember" to Ephesus (Revelation 2:5) was in view of the exceedingly rich endowment of truth revealed and grace bestowed, and from which the Church was declining; whereas the call to "remember" here is in the light of what God had recovered for them at the Reformation, i.e., the Gospel, the Word of God, and liberty of conscience. Judgment is ever according to the measure of responsibility, and that exists in a greater or less degree as flowing from what God has given and where He has set one. They had both "received" and "heard." Protestantism was living on the renown acquired by her successful conflict with the papacy; was living on her name. The truths recovered and the Gospel heard to the joy of thousands were fading from memory and conscience; hence the command to "keep" and "repent" — to keep what they had, and to repent of the poor use they had made of their blessings.

They had been counselled to watch (v. 2), now unless they do so they are threatened with judgment. The character in which Christ would come to them is as a "thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:1-28). He shall come as a Judge, unexpectedly, at an unknown and unlooked-for hour. Protestantism and the world are on the easiest terms possible. The mass of dissenters in pulpit, press, and Church courts are active politicians. State endowed churches must be to a considerable extent political in principle and practice. If, therefore, Protestantism identifies itself with the world, sharing its fortunes, it must also share its doom. Christ comes to the Church as the Morning Star, to Israel as the Sun of Righteousness, and to the world and religious profession in sudden surprise as a "thief in the night." The papacy (Thyatira) and Protestantism (Sardis) are running on together, but in opposition lines. Immense efforts are being made to heal the breach with popery. The differences between the two are lessening. The hour is approaching when the 1300 sects of Christendom will coalesce, headed by the personal Antichrist, but the end of every unity not formed by the Holy Ghost can only result in judgment.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-3.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Remembered...received... and heared. God holds men responsible according to the information and other advantages they have received ( Luke 12:47-48). The church at Sardis had been given Gospel instruction and ought to have known better than think that a mere profession is sufficient. That is why it is warned to hold fast which means to preserve the talents that were given to, it and also to develop them ( Matthew 25:16). Repent. This is another instance where disciples are exhorted to repent of a negative wrong. These people were guilty of not rising above a mere profession or reputation. They must bestir them selves and prove their right to such a name by more spiritual activity. Furthermore if a person does not make the progress or growth he should, he is sure to go the other way and become tainted with the evil things around hint and tints defile his garments as tnost of these disciples had done. Come on thee as a thief. The Lord does not compare himself to a thief, only the hour of His coming is likened to one; for that. reason it is important to be watchful.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-3.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 3:3

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard", etc.

This verse contains another word of counsel, which consists of theses particular directions. First, to call to mind what they had heard and received. Secondly, to retain and hold fast what remains: And, thirdly, to repent wherein they had been defective. That which they had received, was, first the gospel. { 1 Corinthians 15:1} Secondly, Jesus Christ. { Colossians 2:6} Thirdly, the Holy Spirit. Fourthly, saving and sanctifying grace. Fifthly, spiritual gifts: And, sixthly, commandments how to walk and please God. { 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2; Philippians 4:8-9} Those things which ye have both learned, received and heard, etc.

"Hold fast".

First, The form of sound words. { 2 Timothy 1:13} Secondly, the profession of faith, { Hebrews 10:23} also, your Christian confidence and hope. { Hebrews 3:6} And, thirdly, all spiritual good things received. { 1 Thessalonians 5:21}

"And Repent".

First, that which the angel and this church were to repent of, was their formality; for there appeared much more of the form of godliness amongst them than of the power. { 2 Timothy 3:5} Secondly, the hypocrisy of some that seemed to be what indeed they were not; they seemed to be religious, they had a name to live amongst men, but their works were not perfect in the sight of God.

"If therefore thou shalt not watch".

Here followeth a sharp threatening, whereby Christ presseth his former exhortation and direction to be watchful. { Revelation 3:2, See exposition of that verse} See KNOLLYS: Revelation 3:2 This communication is amplified by a secret and sudden visitation;

"I will come on thee as a thief", etc.

This visitation threatened here, is general, and may include any one, yea, every one of the former corrections wherewith Christ visited the other churches. { Revelation 2:5; Revelation 2:16; Revelation 2:22} To come as a thief, is to come with sudden destruction. { 1 Thessalonians 2:5; 1 Thessalonians 3:6} Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but watch, be sober. { Revelation 16:15}

"And thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee".

This notes the secrecy of Christ's visitation; At an hour when they think not of it, or in an hour that they know not of, will Christ come upon them, and visit them with his corrections and judgments.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-3.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.How thou hast received—Or rather, didst receive, namely, when the gospel first came to you. And the meaning is not, (as some interpret,) remember what you received, that is, the matter; but truly, how you received; that is, the spirit and manner. He reminds them, as he does the Ephesians, of their “first love.” Compare Galatians 4:13-15.

And heard—Refers more to the matter, namely, the true apostolic tradition of the gospel.

Hold fast—Firmly with your original maintenance.

Repent— Recognise and reverse your sinful decline.

I’ as a thief—The comparison originated by no other than our Lord himself in regard to himself, Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39. For who else would presume upon such a comparison without his example? Its primary application is to his judgment advent; and all its applications are to such a catastrophe as finally fixes the case of the man for that judgment. The judge then comes upon the sinner, repentance ceases to be possible, and the certainty of his final sentence is fixed.

Shalt not know—Expect no other warning. The only safety is in watchfulness, constant preparedness,—as if the judgment day, at least through the gates of death, were here.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-3.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 3:3. Memory again the lever for repentance (as at Revelation 2:5); aoristic pf. (cf.Revelation 5:7, Burton 88) rather than pf. of existing result (Weiss, Bs.); = our colloquial “how” (practically equivalent to “that”). The melancholy feature about contemporary indifference at S. was that it had a fine beginning behind it: yet this very circumstance afforded hopeful ground for an appeal. (the primitive deposit of the faith) (to secure this steadfast adherence) (aor., sharp and decisive act of repentance). As Revelation 3:4 (compared with Revelation 3:2) implies, positive stains were visible in the local church no less than sins of mere omission. Sardis and Laodicea, which apparently were the only members of this group untroubled by outside persecution or inward error, were the least satisfactory of all the seven, , although the need is so desperate (cf. below on Revelation 16:15). The sudden and signal visitation of punishment threatened in the following words (for in acc. cf. Moult, i. 63, Abbott’s Diat. 2013) is left vaguely impressive. It may be that (as in Judges 1:4; Judges 1:18, and 2 Peter) local libertinism meant a slackening of belief in the second Advent.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-3.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

3. Remember... obey it. They had received the gospel of Christ. They must obey it again, as they had once done. Like a thief. A grim warning of sudden disaster, if they do not repent.

 

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 3:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.