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Summary: How does the Church in Sardis compare to our Church. 5th in series of the Seven Churches of Revelation.

To the Church of Sardis

In this series on the Seven Churches of Revelation, we have examined the Church in Ephesus, the Church in Smyrna the Church in Pergamum and the Church in Thyatira. Today we will look at the Church in Sardis and not only how our Church compares to it, but also how we as individual Christians compare to the Christians in Sardis.

Let’s stand as we read God’s word:

Rev 3:1-6

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.

2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.

3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, 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.

4 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.

5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.

6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

(NIV)

(Prayer)

The City:

Sardis was the capital of ancient Lydia and geographical located as the junction of five main trade routes. Sardis was the first city in that part of the world that was converted by the preaching of John. It was known as a wealthy and wicked city. The citizens of Sardis lived in luxury, which led to moral decadence and decline. Sardis was also the first that revolted from Christianity, and one of the first that was laid in its ruins, in which it still lies, without any church or ministry.

The Condemnation:

Rev 3:1-3

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.

2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.

3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, 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.

(NIV)

Jesus holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. The seven spirits of God is the Holy Spirit that encompasses these seven churches, just has the Holy Spirit encompasses our churches today. The seven stars are the seven ministers of the seven churches of the book of Revelation.

Christ says that He knows their deeds. They have a reputation of being alive, but they are dead. We can fool people in making them think that we are really on fire for Christ, but we can’t fool Christ. Jesus knows our inner most thoughts and we can’t fool Him. Why do we try to impress others anyway? Can they save us? The One we need to impress is the One that can condemn to us to eternal suffering in hell. Going to church doesn’t save us. Doing good deeds doesn’t save us. Impressing others doesn’t save us. The only thing that can save us is to truly accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and let Him be the Lord of our life.

The church at Sardis had gained a great reputation. They appeared to be doing great works through out the city, but inwardly they were dead. Today there are many magnificent church buildings, but inside the Christians are no longer filled with the spirit. Yes they attend church most Sundays if there isn’t something better going on like a super bowl or first day of hunting season. Even some churches fill most of their pews, but can’t find people to teach Sunday school or drive the church van. Outwardly they appear to be alive, but inwardly they don’t want to get involved with church serving or witnessing.

Christ is telling the Church of Sardis to wake up and strengthen what remains before it dies. A Church doesn’t have to close and lock its doors to be dead. If the members are not serving God and the Church, then the Church and its members are spiritually dead. Christ wants us to serve. The pastor is lead by the spirit to minister and to preach the teachings of Christ to the members of the church. The members are to serve. They are to help with the day to day routine of the church and to teach classes, drive the church vans and to witness to others. Our Pastors shouldn’t have to drive the vans or play the piano. Jesus gave us the great commission to go out and teach the gospel to everyone. Are we doing that or are we waiting for the pastors to do it? Many today have become so spiritually dead that we don’t even care what is happening in our world today. We don’t care if thousands of unborn babies are murdered everyday. We don’t care if today’s children hear the gospel. We don’t care if our government forces us to accept homosexuality as an acceptable life style. We don’t care if prayer become unlawful except in churches. Just as the Christians of the Church of Sardis were spiritually dead, many of our Christians today are just as spiritually dead. Being a mature Christian means that we should be working more for Christ, teaching the new Christians in the way that Christ expect them to live. We should be doing everything that we can to help our Pastors so that they can spend more time ministering to individuals. We must listen to Christ’s warning to the Church of Sardis.

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