The Message to the Church in Sardis

Sardis, located in modern-day Turkey, was one of the most important cities in the ancient world and was renowned for its wealth, architecture, and cultural significance.

The city was known for several things, including the temple of Artemis, a library, and its pursuit of intellectual and artistic endeavors.

The church in Sardis was known for receiving the harshest criticism among the seven churches. Yet, there were positive notes to Jesus’ message.

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars” (Revelation 3.1).

The heavenly entourage and the leader of the church were notified of God’s interest and care, which should have been inspirational to the church.

Strengthen What Remains

The city had reason to be proud of its achievements. It seemed that the church adopted the characteristics of the city. However, Jesus disagreed with the church’s opinion of itself.

“I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead.

“Wake up and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God” (Revelation 3.1b-2).

What steps can the church take to ensure that it is completely alive?

If we read Jesus’ message to the churches in Revelation, we will have the answer to this question.

A vibrant church will steer clear of any affiliation with cultural idols and the false teachers who promote them. The defining traits of the church will include genuine love for both God and fellow humans.

This is what Jesus wrote to the church. “Remember, then, what you received and heard; obey it and repent.

“If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you” (Revelation 3.3).

If the church follows Jesus’ directions, it will come to life. If not, Jesus will come in judgment.

Encouragement for the Faithful

Jesus recognized that there was a small group of faithful individuals who were keeping the church alive despite its struggles.

“Yet you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy” (Revelation 3.4).

It is lonely to follow the “narrow road that leads to life” (Matthew 7.13-14), but the reward is worth it. Jesus’ faithful followers will be clothed in white for eternity in his kingdom.

The same message is given to those who conquer.

“If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not erase your name from the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels

“Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches (Revelation 3.5).

As followers of Jesus, we are reminded to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and to stay faithful to God in all circumstances. If we remain steadfast, we will be rewarded with eternal life and a place in the book of life.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

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