The Church of Sardis|The Dead Church
As we begin reading in Chapter 3 of Revelation, Jesus says, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up!” v 1-2. This is the shortest commendation that Jesus gives any of the churches. In fact, it ends with condemnation that the church is dead. Jesus warns them that if they don’t wake up, he will come like a thief in the night.
At one time, the church in Sardis was faithful. The reputation could be a reference from the early days of the church when they were part of the Reformation Church which had a reputation of being faithful to Jesus Christ. This is probably representative of the church age from 1500-1700s. Through the years, the church looked to the state when the economy wasn’t strong instead of looking to God. They began to be very ritualistic instead of following the Word that was given to them. The church lost direction. The Holy Spirit is missing in the church being described here.
But, Jesus tells them there are several things that they need to fix. “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.” v3 He does hold out hope for them if they will wake up and return to their earlier ways. He notes that there are those in the church who still follow the doctrines set forth in the teachings of the apostles and the Bible.
Once again, Jesus encourages them to overcome and he will acknowledge them before his Father. This is great news for those who have fallen away from the faith. There is still hope for them to find their way back into His graces!
I think this gives us all hope. If this church is dead and Jesus says there is still away for them to overcome if they will wake up, I think anyone who is lost can find hope in the promises of our Lord.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the Church in Philadelphia. See you then!