Summary: Number 5 in series: Sardis "The Letters to the Seven Churches"
Sardis: The Zombie Church
# 5 in Series: The Letters to the Seven Churches
From the pulpit of Bayview Baptist Church, Sunday night, June 10, 2001
“Is Bayview Baptist Church Similar to Sardis Baptist Church?
Revelation 3:1-6 page # 1916
Sardis was the capital of Lydia and one of the oldest and most important cities of Asia Minor.
Sardis was the center of the industries for textile woolen carpet business, jewelry industry and the minting of gold and silver coins (first minted at Sardis)
Sardis represents the Protestant churches today, which are in need of the Spirit of God working in them.
Sardis Baptist Church is the church that is in need of a spiritual revival.
The seven spirits of God in verse 4 is an illusion to the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
There are 7 illusions to the Holy Spirit because there are 7 churches.
The problem of the church at Sardis was spiritual death.
The seven stars signifies Christ’s concern, compassion and care for His churches.
There are 7 stars for 7 churches.
The Protestant church began when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the chapel door of the church at Wittenberg, Germany.
Verse 5 is the verse many people use to teach that a person can lose his or her salvation.
When you first look at this verse, you think, “Is it possible for me to be in the Book of Life and then have my name blotted out?”
In ancient cities of the world, the names of citizens were recorded in a register until their death.
At the person’s death, their names were marked out of the book of the living.
So, perhaps a better way to look at this is to say that the Book of Life is not the roll of those who are saved, but rather is a list of all those for whom Christ died, or all humanity who have ever lived.
Their names are blotted out only if they fail to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Those who accept Christ as their personal Savior are confirmed in the position in the Book of Life.
I think that would be a sound interpretation of verse 5.
Romans 8:38-39 gives us the promise that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Today, in our Protestant churches, we think we need programs, methods and courses, but what we really need is to get the person of Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit to become real again in our lives, and living in us.
Many of our churches today are just going through the form of Christianity.
The Sardis Baptist Church was dead, but didn’t know it.
They sang from the throat but not from the heart.
They said their prayers, but they didn’t pray.
If someone got born again, he or she would have to backslide to get into the fellowship with the rest of the church.
Jesus says, “wake up”(verse 3).
The Sardis Baptist Church was known as the sleeping church.
Is Bayview Baptist Church a sleeping church?
A church is in danger of death when it begins to worship its own past history, its reputation in the community, it’s name, or when it’s more concerned with forms and programs than with function and life.
A church is in danger of death when it is more concerned with numbers than with the spiritual quality of life in its people.
A church is in danger of death when it’s more involved with management than with ministry.
When people stop operating from the base of God’s Word, and from the power of the Holy Spirit, spiritual decline is always the law of degeneration.
Churches can become cathedrals of consumption designed to feed the consumer appetites of our lifestyles.
The Sardis Baptist Church had a good reputation in the community, but it was actually a dead church spiritually.
The works of Sardis Baptist Church can be described as beautiful burial clothes used to cover a rotting corpse!
The church was so devoid of life that it actually had no struggles or conflict going on within.
Christ says, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14).
This was the need of the Sardis Baptist Church.
Is it the need of Bayview Baptist Church?
How could a church like Sardis Baptist Church fool so many people?
Does Bayview Baptist Church fool the people who live in our community?
Are we a dead church or a live church?
Are you a dead Christian or a live Christian?
Have we, like Sardis Baptist Church, merely externalized our faith, and do we just go through the right motions of being a Christian?
Do we have a name of being alive, when in reality, we are dead?