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Summary: Have you ever seen a church that was full of splendor, and has a good reputation? Yet later that church was dying and lifeless?

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MESSAGES TO SEVEN CHURCHES

Revelation 2:1- 3:22

Part 5

SARDIS – “The Dead & Lifeless Church”

Revelation 3:1-6

Good News Christian Fellowship

November 5, 2006

BUCAS, Daraga albay

Introduction

A. About the past events.

1. Typhoon “Melinyo”

2. Church Anniversary

B. Today we will continue our series of messages about the seven Churches in Asia Minor as revealed in the book of Revelation.

1. Have you ever seen a church that was full of splendor, and has a good reputation? Yet later that church was dying and lifeless? A Church resting on its laurel and past history, that just reveled in what used to be? Once the Church was alive and powerful, and then began to harbor sin. As a result, it became weak, blind, and dead.

2. Dead churches exist today just as they have in every era of the church age. Finally, they represent types of individual Christians.

The Recipient (3:1)

A. The Minister – There are the recipients of the letter. Jesus Christ addresses the letter to the minister of the church, but he wants it proclaimed to the church as a whole. There is little hope for the church unless the minister and the members are set afire. We must get into the Word and our faces before god, evaluating our hearts to make sure we are spiritually alive and revived.

B. The Church – “to the church at Sardis.”

1. Its Beginning.

We don’t know exactly who started the church or who was involved in it because the Bible is silent about that. But according to some commentators, the gospel probably reached Sardis at the time of Paul’s third missionary journey, when Ephesus was the base of his missionary activities (Acts 19:10).

2. The name

Sardis, (also Sardes, Greek: Σάρδεις), modern Sart in the Manisa province of Turkey, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times.

C. The City. - Sardis (Sfard, Sart) - an hour and a halfs’ ride from Izmir - has for 3000 years been the name of this settlement. The oldest finds of settlement date from the Late Bronze Age but artifacts have been found from as early as the 7th millennium BC. As a city it had great importance for 1500 years, since its fortified citadel occupied a key position on the route from the inland to the Aegean Sea. Also a fertile soil and gold deposits contributed to its importance. King Croessus, whose fame as a rich man is proverbial, was a Lydian king here. Later the Persians took over, housing a satrap or special governor at the city. After Alexander the Greats conquers in the second half of the 4th century BC it became increasingly Hellenized. The last days of great importance were in the Late Roman period, 4th till 7th century. (www.padfield.com)

The period of greatest Lydian artistic and technical achievement was 650-550 B.C. Economic prosperity derived from the supply of gold and the ability to purify it, and from the invention of coinage and the establishment of a bimetallic monetary standard. In the time of Croesus (560/1-547) the population is estimated at 50,000.


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