Summary: This is a sermon on the church at Sardis from Revelation Ch. 3:1-6.
No Place to Hang Your Hat
(Masterpiece of Hope Series)
Revelation 3:1-6 [Sardis]
We cannot rely on what we’ve done; so keep doing
Chapel Service of Plainfield Christian Church
Introduction to Revelation
Good evening. How are you all doing this evening? Before we get started into this week’s sermon, I just want to take a moment to go over some basics of the book of Revelation and introduce this sermon series to you. This whole month of April, with the exception of Easter Sunday, we will be studying the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation was never meant to show us what some call the “prophetic timeline,” nor was it to let us know when the end of the world is coming. It is so strange to me that we understand that we need to know the background context for all of the other books of the bible, but when it comes to the book of Revelation, all of the sudden we think that we can ignore the context it was written in. Another interesting fact to note is that Revelation is a book of Prophesy. If something is prophetic, it does not mean that the entire book is about the future; in fact it typically means something nearer to the opposite. In Jeremiah we see that this prophet talks to the people about God’s quickly coming judgment, their current sin and other issues that deal with the people that he is talking to in that day and time. Very little of Jeremiah is predictive prophesy; the rest is simply telling the people God’s word. See, the purpose of the book of Revelation is to give hope to churches in the midst of suffering, persecution, and a counter-church culture. It is a book of hope, not telling the future. That is why this sermon series is titles “Masterpiece of Hope.” Jesus brilliantly paints this inspiring book of hope using the colors of imagery, symbols, Old Testament references, and events from their time.
I have a story for you all tonight that have just stuck with me since they happened. It happened during my sophomore year at Cincinnati Bible College.
The second story, the one from my sophomore year, also came at the end of a semester. One of my friends who we call J-Mac had left a half gallon of 2% milk in his fridge for the entire semester/possibly the whole school year (he couldn’t remember). It was so spoiled that the bottle was bloated to the point of breaking. Well, I had come into the room to see this amazing sight, and when I picked up the half-gallon to examine it, it began to burst. A small leak in the top quarter began to spray a barely visible stream of spoiled milk all over me and their dorm room. In a moment of panic, my friend Alex and I went tearing down the hallway to the nearest window that was over some grass. We made it to the stairwell’s window and as soon as possible threw the container out the window into the grass on the side of the parking lot. When it hit bottom the bottle burst, releasing a mixture that looked like cottage cheese, spoiled milk, and cream cheese. Unfortunately it burst near enough to someone’s car that it defiled their tires and lower door panel. All this because my friend left the milk sit for too long.
See, there are consequences to inactivity and laziness; typically it results in something being ruined, or stinking. Often it results in destruction. We even see this idea repeated in the wisdom books of Solomon.
18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag;
if his hands are idle, the house leaks.
What Solomon is saying here is that if a man is lazy and does not maintain his home, it will fall apart.
19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,
but the path of the upright is a highway.
The reason that the sluggard’s path is blocked with thorns is because he is too lazy to clear them off. The upright person, however, cleans the thorns off of his path.
Its a lot like a river. When the river is flowing and moving it teems with life, and bring life wherever it goes. When water is left to sit, it breeds bacteria and mosquitoes, and stinks. There are few things that are worse than the smell of stagnant water.
The City of Sardis
The city of Sardis was like a flowing river that had become a stale and stagnant pond. It was one of the cities that John wrote to in the book of Revelation (more specifically Revelation 3:1-6). Sardis was a town located in present day Turkey.