Sardis Church : Alienated From Reality
Sardis Church : Alienated From Reality
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 . Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 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.
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, He who overcomes will like them be dressed in white . I will never blot out his name from the book of life , but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. He who has an ear , let him hear what the spirit says to the churches.”
Revelation 3 : 1-6
Sardis has the most interesting and rich heritage among the seven churches mentioned in Revelation. The city is located in the Northeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, North of Philadelphia and South of Thyatira. The upper city of Sardis is also known as the Acropolis . It was a hill towered above the valley flooer and was once an impregnable fortress. Sardis has well-known people associated with it. Aesop who wrote many fables was from Sardis. King Croesus led Sardis to its greatest era. Sardis was once a wealthy , influential and prominent city during about seven hundred years before the birth of Christ.
A Shocking Revelation of Truth
“I know your deeds” – apparently the church was not lacking in activities.
“You have a reputation of being alive but you are dead”- the church in Sardis has a reputation but it is not the truth,
How could this have happened ?
The church has past achievements and has present woks. The church is physically alive but spiritually dead. There are churches today that are physically alive but in the eyes of the Lord are spiritually dead.
A man maybe breathing, walking, eating, talking, working but without Christ in his life , the Bible says that person is dead. It appears that at the time the letter in Revelation was written, the church in Sardis had more unbelievers than believers and the church did not realize it. The church members dictate what kind of church it would be.
There are vital signs of life such as appetite and growth. The church that is alive demonstrates appetite for JesusChrist, worship and the Word of God. And there must be presence of progress. A true Christian has a great desire for JesusChrist, has great thirst for the Word of God, and has great desire for worshipping God. There are also manifestations of changes in his/her life. A Christian is being transformed from glory to glory. When a professing Christian does not show progress in his/her spirituality, there is a reason to doubt the validity of his faith.
The church in Sardis is a church lacking in reality. There was no reality in the spiritual things they were doing. They were just going through the motion. Everything they do is just plain ritual. The power and presence of God is not alive and real in these rituals. The church is alienated from the presence and truth of Christ, though they were outwardly professing his Name.
Christ Counsel For the Church
It is high time for the church to wake-up and strengthen what remains. Start with what you have and build on it. Strengthen the good things that need to be strengthened.
“For I have not found your deeds complete.”
They were given a chance to complete the unfinished tasks and for the church in Sardis it is time to go back to the Gospel.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried , that he was raised to the third day according to the Scriptures.”
I Corinthians : 15 : 3-4
The Gospel is the believer’s greatest and deepest conviction. It should be the foundation of his faith. CHRIST DIED FOR ME. This was what Charles Spurgeon wanted to be engraved on his tombstone when he was weak and dying.
The Gospel is not just for the unbelievers., not just for the new believers. The meaning of it should master us, continue to take hold of us, to transform us even after many years of being a Christian. We should always go back to the Gospel. Let the message of the Gospel live in us day after day.
The message of repentance is not only for unbelievers but for us Christians as well. It means that there is a need even after we have become Christians to keep repenting, to keep confessing, and to keep turning back to the Lord because our hearts are always prone to wander away from our Lord.
Promise To The Overcomers
The Lord promises to the overcomers that his name will not be blot out from the book of life but his name will be acknowledged before the Father in heaven.
It is wonderful to know that even we are not among world’s list of rich and famous and our name can never be found among Forbes richest men, our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That is the most important thing in this life, more than seeing your name among board passers, that your name be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and someday we will jump with joy in Heaven when we found our name there because of what Christ has done for us.
This hub is an excerpt from the Grace Bible Church Vesper Service Message as preached by Brother Benjie Baclagon last Sunday February 20, 2011 at Grace BIble Church in Manila, Philippines.