Summary: This is a study of the book of Revelation Chapter by chapter CHAPTER 3 PART 3
Revelation Chapter 3
List some activities in which churches typically engage that prompt unbelievers to take positive notice.
List some activities in which modern churches participate that cause non-Christians to look with scorn upon the gospel.
If you were new to Conway, AR and was looking for a church home, what qualities would draw you to a church? What attributes would cause you to rule out a certain church as a potential home for yourself and your family?
Chapter 3 of Revelation continues the series of Christ’s messages to His churches; here it is the churches of Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
The geography and position of Sardis were to its advantage. The Pactolus River lay on its eastern side and flowed eventually into the Hermus River. The broad ridge of Mount Tmolus, springing from the central plateau, dominates the Hermus Valley to its north. A series of steep ranges jut out into the plain, offering strongholds. Sardis lies on one of these, with Sardis proper 1,500 feet above the plain. Its position of great importance began in the earliest days of the Lydian kingdom (thirteenth century BC). The lower city spread to the valley floor. The king lived in the great acropolis, which became a place of refuge in time of war.
In 334 BC the city surrendered to Alexander the Great. Following Alexander’s death, Sardis changed hands several times. It was controlled first by Antigonus, then by the Seleucid rulers, and then by Pergamum, which had broken away from the Seleucids. When Antiochus III (231-187 BC) sought to restore the city to his rule, the lower city was burned (216 BC) and the citadel entered (214 BC). After the defeat of Antiochus III by Pergamum and the Romans, Sardis was placed under Pergamum’s jurisdiction until 133 BC Later it became a Roman administrative center. Although it enjoyed considerable wealth during the first three centuries AD, it never again held the prominence of earlier centuries. A great earthquake destroyed the city in AD 17. Emperor Tiberius assisted in its rebuilding.
Christianity took root here before the end of the first century. The New Testament letter by the hand of John to “the angel of the church in Sardis” (Revelation 1:11; Revelation 3:1-6) gives insight into the condition of the church at that time. After the Arab invasion of AD 716, the city declined. Today the small village of Sart preserves its name.
Extensive excavations in recent years have identified many Roman public buildings: a theater, a temple of Artemis, a gymnasium, and an impressive Jewish synagogue.
In summary what does Christ tell the church at Sardis?
Seven Stars (V1) – the pastors of these seven churches
Have you ever seen a church that was dead and dying? A church that was satisfied with itself, with keeping the way they had always been.
Christians must get into the Word and on our faces before God, evaluating our hearts to make sure we are spiritually alive and revived.
What a lifeless and dying church needs is the Spirit of God.
· A lifeless and dying church needs to seek Christ for the Spirit of God. John 14:13-16
· A lifeless and dying church needs to seek the quickening of the Spirit Romans 8:11
· A lifeless and dying church needs to seek the convicting power of the Sprit John 16:7
· A lifeless and dying church needs to seek the fruit of the Sprit. Galatians 5: 22-23
· A lifeless and dying church needs to seek the guidance of the Spirit. Romans 8:14
· A lifeless and dying church needs to seek true revival. Matthew 3:11
Jesus Christ has the seven stars in His hands; that is, He holds the ministers of the church in His hands. The minister is the one who is responsible for brining about the awakening, He is held in the hand of Christ, He belongs totally to Christ. This means that he….
- Has been chosen by the hand of Christ to do exactly what Christ wants. John 15:16
- Has been placed into the by the hand of Christ. Exodus 3:10
- Has been placed to be aroused himself and to arouse the church Ezekiel 33:6
This church was dying and lifeless. However, Verse 2 says that it was not totally dead
A few living things still remained
How could a church be so active and well attended and have so many ministries and yet be dying?
What does this mean? It means to die spiritually, it means
· To have a form of worship but to deny the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5)
· To focus upon ritual, ceremony, and worship instead of Jesus Christ.
· To focus upon activities instead of Jesus Christ
· To become formal in worship instead of alive in Christ