Summary: This is the 6th sermon in the series "Are You Prepared".
Series: Are You Prepared? (Revelation) [#6]
May I confess something to you that God has revealed to me? In the attempt to see Bel Aire Baptist Church grow in the Lord; I have become angry, frustrated, and dissatisfied. God reminded me of my frustration with Tyler when he was 4 years old. Tyler was defiant. If I said clean your room, he would take all the toys out and throw them in the floor. If I said go to bed, he would stay up. If I said don’t go to bed he went. So I would spank Tyler and as I would go to leave his room he would say something like, “Is that all you got old man”? I would go back in and spank him some more. On the way out I would hear, “Stupid, that didn’t hurt”. This cycle went on and on. Tyler probably received 15 to 20 spankings a day and guess what? Spankings were not working.
This morning God has led me to present this sermon differently. Although I don’t want to admit it, we may be like the Church in Sardis; and if we are, we need to begin to change now! We don’t need another spanking, we need a change of attitude and behavior.
"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” (Revelation 3:1).
I. Dead Or Alive?
How can you tell if something is dead or alive? You check for vital signs. Is there a pulse, blood pressure, etc…? As we ask this question, we must put this in perspective with our Church in mind. I found this explanation about life:
“When an organism is alive, there is…
At our Church, are we growing? I am not asking about numbers, that is just a bi-product. We can fool people as they drive by our Church on Sunday Morning because there are cars on the parking lot; but is our Church producing Christians that are growing stronger in the Word, in fellowship, in witness, in prayer, and discipleship? If we are not growing, we are dieing.
This Church was not completely dead. “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God” (Revelation 3:2). This Church had a great reputation in the past and was barely holding on. They had started well, but they were not finishing too well.
When an organism is alive, there is growth and…
When the body is sick, if it is healthy, it can repair itself. Sometimes we need a doctor to prescribe something to help fight off the sickness. The less healthy the body, the longer it takes to heal.
The Church is the same way. There are times when we as a Church are sick. This sickness comes from sin within the Church; but if we will allow God to heal our Church, the repairing will begin. The healthier the Church, the quicker it will be repaired.
When an organism is alive, there is growth, repair, and…
Reproduction is necessary to carry on life. A healthy Church reproduces. A healthy Church is all about watching the Kingdom grow regardless of what it does for their congregation personally. When a Church is reproducing, God will bless them. The numbers, money, workers, etc… will happen.
When an organism is alive, there is growth, repair, reproduction, and…
A person that is healthy has the power to walk, to work, to conquer, etc… The Church of Sardis was like a person fighting for those last breaths. They were still living, but they were in a coma. This Church could not help others. This Church could not be the light to their community. Notice that this Church was not facing any persecution. When a Church is not shedding the light of Jesus Christ on their community, then the things that go on in the darkness are not seen.
Obviously this power comes from the Holy Spirit. Only God’s power will be sufficient for what the task is. “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” (Revelation 3:3).
II. Dirty Or Clean?
As in every Church, even those which are all but dead; there seems to always be a core of people that have not given up. Praise God for these people! “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” (Revelation 3:4). At this point we go from looking at the Church as a whole and we begin to look at the individuals that make up the local congregation.