Sardis-The Church That Thought it Was Alive But Was Dead
The book of Revelation brings the battle that started at the beginning of history when Satan rebelled—resulting in mankind’s plunge into sin and loss of dominion over Earth—to a glorious conclusion as Jesus Christ returns to Earth and claims what is rightly His!
Letters to the Seven Churches–
#4 Sardis—The Church that thought it was alive but was dead!
I. The History of the City
Built on top of a 950 foot rock of soft sandstone (Mt Tmolus)
Southern cliff was almost impregnable so left unguarded.
Hyerodes (549 BC) and Antiochus the Great (214 BC) both successfully went up the face of the cliff and conquered the city. It happened TWICE.
The city had a problem watching out for its enemies (complacent).
The church had the same problem.
No heresy, no persecution, lots of activity, lots of life, great reputation—you have a name!
II. The Description of Jesus Christ—3:1
He who has the 7 Spirits of God(Is. 11:2;7 fold aspect of Holy Spirit)
He who has the seven stars. (the 7 pastors)
Jesus wants to the church to operate by His Spirit through your leadership.
The Church is commanded to
Pray in the Spirit (Jude 20)
Preach in the Spirit (1 Thess. 1:5)
Worship in the Spirit (John 4:24)
Live in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25)
Walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5: 16, 25)
III. The Approval—
None…tragic state for any church—to be unapproved.
IV. The Condemnation—3:1b
You are dead.
What is death in a person? The separation of the spirit from body.
What is death for a church? Separation of Holy Spirit from Body.
Read Judges 16:20 for a sad commentary on loss of the Spirit.
Form of godliness but denying the power.
Death is when a church relies on its past and tradition; it loves form rather than life; prefers religion rather than relationship; focused on material rather than spiritual. DANGER!
V. The Counsel—3:2-3
Repent or judgment is coming!
VI. The Promise—3:4-5
Clothed in white—
Continued in the Book of Life—
Confessed before the Father—
Apply the truth—
How does a church die?
Living on past victories; not sensitive to one’s spiritual condition; losing sound doctrine; lose hope of the 2nd coming; no evangelism; not holding to regenerate membership