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Summary: What is a dead church? Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:1-6 that it might not be what we would expect. This sermon includes a true story to illustrate what a dead church needs.

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A Church That Needs A Funeral

Revelation 3:1-6

1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ’These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.

3Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

4You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

5He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

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

More and more churches in our area are closing.

We use that word "closed" because it sounds better.

The truth is, those churches died.

Our church meets here

because the Bone Gap Methodist Church died.

Could it happen here again?

Yes it could!

We have little or no control over things that might happen...

after we are dead and gone.

But it’s up to us to see that it does NOT happen while we are alive!

Not long ago, a tombstone with the church’s name on it

was put up in front of the building.

I guess they must have received a lot of teasing.

They moved the tombstone off to the side.

What comes to your mind when you think of dead churches?

Maybe it’s a small group of Christians in an old building.

Maybe it’s a congregation of mostly older people.

Maybe it’s a congregation content to stay just the way they are.

Several years ago, a new pastor was called to a spiritually dead church in a small Oklahoma town. They had a nice building equipped with a beautiful worship center, several attractive classrooms, a spacious kitchen area, and a big fellowship hall. In looking over the church records, the new pastor was disappointed by the attendance figures. The Membership Roll included the names of close to 100 people. The new preacher was astonished!

More of that story comes a little later!

Point #1 A dead church may seem to be doing very well.

1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ’These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

Jesus calls the church at Sardis "dead"!

Yet, many people thought it was alive!

Had we been alive back then...

Sardis would NOT have been a church...

we would have considered a dead church!

They seemed to be very much alive!

If the Sardis Church were in existence today...

We would see their parking lot full every Sunday.

Their attendance figures would be very high.

Their preacher would be a very young and popular guy.

The church would have many activities going on.

Yet, something has died inside.

This church at Sardis had reached a state of being DEAD!


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