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A Walk Through Revelation - Part 8


Letter #5
To the Church in Sardis
Revelation 2:18-29

Sardis Synagague Ruins - creative commons image
“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 found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, 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. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:1-6
Did you notice that the tone of this letter is a little different than the others? Jesus cuts straight to the chase with...
I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 
I'm afraid that statement could be made about many churches in America today. I don't know about churches outside America, because I've never traveled abroad, but here in America I've sat through many services that thought the mighty power of God, of prayer and of living a powerful Christian life, yet the service was flat. No undercurrent of excitement, no life, just going through the motions.

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not condemning these churches. I'm sure the Pastors are overwhelmed with the burden of stirring the people to action. Pastors so their best, week after week to inspire their congregations to bring the word of God, to inspire listeners to greater worship, spiritual growth, service and sharing the gospel.  I imagine sometimes that's like trying to stir thickening concrete.

Jesus says to His church...
Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, 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.
This is our wake up call, folks, because he's not just talking to the church at Sardis, he's talking to all churches everywhere. It's time to wake up, get up and do something! Breathe in the life-giving Word of God, exercise our atrophied spiritual muscles, actively pursue a vibrant relationship with Christ, be on the lookout for opportunities to serve and step forward, not waiting to be asked.  It's time to anticipate opportunities to share the gospel and be prepared to do so with wisdom and love. And lest we think, "Yeah, it's time the church comes to life," look how quickly Jesus brings it right down to the individuals in the church...

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. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. 
Jesus looks at his church and sees individuals, for that's who makes up the church. Individual believers, each responsible and answerable for the depth of their own walk with Him - their own spiritual growth - their own deeds. We can't wait for the Pastor to tell us what we should be doing. We can't make him responsible for stirring us into action. That's something we must do for ourselves...and when we do - when we are actively living out the name and ministry of Jesus Christ, he promises that we will walk with Him, worthy, dressed in white, victorious. He promises that he...
I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.
What a wonderful promise! What incentive! What motivation to shake ourselves awake, stir ourselves up and launch ourselves into action!
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Have you let yourself grow lax in your relationship with Jesus?
Do you depend on others to stir you up?
What can you do today to breathe life back into your stale relationship with Him?

Introduction to the City of Sardis


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