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The Message To Sardis

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Steven Lawson addresses well phrases like the following:
"I grew up in a dead church.”
"I grew up in a dead church.” or “Our church used to be dynamic; now it’s dead.” or “Don’t go to that church. It’s dead.”
•“Our church used to be dynamic; now it’s dead.”
•“Don’t go to that church. It’s dead.”
What exactly does that mean?.... Maybe it means their sanctuary is a morgue with a steeple. It’s a congregation of corpses with undertakers for ushers, embalmers for elders, and morticians for ministers. Their pastor graduated from a theological cemetery. The choir director is the local coroner. They sing “Embalmed in Gilead” and “Amazing Grave, How Sweet the Ground.” You might describe their worship as stiff. At the Rapture, they’ll be the first churches taken up because the Bible says, “The dead in Christ shall rise first.” They drive to church in one long line with their headlights on. Whenever someone joins their membership, the church office immediately notifies the next of kin. Each week they put an ad in the obituaries. The church van is a black hearse and the church sign is a tombstone. Their motto is, “Many are cold and a few are frozen.”
What exactly does that mean?
Our passage today is speaking of a dead church in need of the Great Physician to do an autopsy on it. However our dead church did not appear as the churches I just stated…
Maybe it means their sanctuary is a morgue with a steeple. It’s a congregation of corpses with undertakers for ushers, embalmers for elders, and morticians for ministers. Their pastor graduated from a theological cemetery. The choir director is the local coroner. They sing “Embalmed in Gilead” and “Amazing Grave, How Sweet the Ground.” You might describe their worship as stiff. At the Rapture, they’ll be the first churches taken up because the Bible says, “The dead in Christ shall rise first.” They drive to church in one long line with their headlights on. Whenever someone joins their membership, the church office immediately notifies the next of kin. Each week they put an ad in the obituaries. The church van is a black hearse and the church sign is a tombstone. Their motto is, “Many are cold and a few are frozen.”
Revelation 3:1–6 NASB95
1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore 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. 4 ‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

We Have No Excuse!

We Have No Excuse!

The way Christ presents Himself here gives the church NO EXCUSE!
The seven Spirits is referring to the Holy Spirit and His completeness and fullness
The Holy Spirit is the One who brings life to the believer
The seven Churches in the hand of Christ!
We see relationship and closeness here… Christ has given the church (called out ones) His Spirit that they may be fully alive in Him and complete.
As the church we are capable of what He ask of us because of the Spirit and because He is the One who holds us, there is closeness and intimacy in this relationship, there fore He knows… what others cannot see.

WARNING! Looks Can Kill!

We have a real church, that looks real alive!
I wish dead or dying churches were easier to spot
This church was busy, they even had a reputation of being alive!
They most likely had even convinced themselves that they were alive!
Concerned with what people thought, what other churches thought (b)
1 Samuel 16:7 NASB95
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
They had the latest presentation stuff, they had an amazing worship team, dynamic pastor, oh and the ministries that they could boast of, everyone was in a small group of some sort, they had a food ministry that was helping even those other churches like Smyrna, they had prayer meetings that were full with people lifting up eloquent prayers, the church was growing in numbers, they even had to take on more staff!
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead” NLT
The Message Chapter 3

“I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead.

I think of Jesus when He confronted the Pharisees… He called them white washed tombs!
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
The Message Chapter 3

“I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead.

Complacent in what they were doing how they looked to others and themselves, failing to grow Spiritually in fact they were dying!
Christ had

WAKE UP!!!

Stay Alert, Be Watchful, Stand Guard
Christ had come to analyze the condition of this churches heart… shock advised! (get AED out)
The Moody Bible Commentary E. The Message to Sardis (3:1–6)

Cyrus the Persian who conquered the city in 549 BC by scaling its rear wall

A city on a hill with what appeared to be impregnable cliffs and high walls became relaxed in the appearance of safety
Watchmen grew complacent, failing to see the enemy
Around 547 BC Cyrus attacked and sacked the city
Almost 300 years later in 214 BC Antiochus III did the same
Twice they had failed to be vigilant… now about another 300 years later Christ is giving the call to WAKE UP!
“Maybe there’s life in you yet. But I wouldn’t know it by looking at your busywork; nothing of God’s work has been completed. Your condition is desperate.”

The command to “wake up” is a reminder that twice in its history Sardis had been sacked (in 547/546 B.C. by Cyrus II, and in 214 B.C. by Antiochus III) when the watchmen on the walls failed to detect an enemy army sneaking up its supposedly impregnable cliffs and walls.

Eugene Peterson
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.The consequence of inaction
Their actions did not meet the requirements of God,
Dead spiritually, poor quality, low moral quality
This church needed to stop having an affair with the church and start falling back in love with Christ!
Their personal relationship with Christ, their spiritual walk was on life support
Strengthen what little remains… REMEMBER!!! (KEEP on bringing to mind)
Your instruction in the Words of God (God’s moral code)
Then KEEP it, do it (sanctification of our hearts before God)
Repent (change direction, about face)
Christ wants to breath new life back into this church!
BUT… if you don’t Christ will come to discipline, reveal their hearts as a thief in the night.
What condition is your heart in?
When is a good time to wake up… NOW
When should I think about living again for Christ… NOW
Wake Up Church!

God’s Kine Life For Real!

5“Everybody dat fight an win ova da bad kine stuff, Dey goin wear clean white kine clotheses lidat.
Dey goin wear clean white kine clotheses lidat.
Dey goin wear clean white kine clotheses lidat.
I no goin wipe out dea name eva From da Book Dat Tell Who Get Godʼs Kine Life fo real!
From da Book Dat Tell Who Get Godʼs Kine Life fo real!
I know dea names, An I goin tell my Fadda an his angel guys Dat dose guys stay my guys.
An I goin tell my Fadda an his angel guys
Dat dose guys stay my guys.
6“If you guys can hear dis, you betta listen an go do wat Godʼs Spirit stay telling da church peopo.”
HWCNT Hawaii Pidgen
Simple isn't it yet so amazingly profound!
There were those FEW who were living! The “kine” life God offers and desires us to live.
They “walk with Him” intimate relationship
In white… they are worthy because of the amazing work of the Holy Spirit in their life
Verse 5 “overcomes” he who is victorious! The wonderful hymn “Oh Victory in Jesus!”
Over-comers too could join in wearing white
There was still time to strengthen what little remained
The One who holds the churches and gives Life through His Spirit
That same Spirit seals those who are His… so that when Jesus opens the books including the Book of Life those who are His will be found in that book!
There is a scary passage in
Matthew 7:21–23 NASB95
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Those who find their victory and life in Jesus will on that day not only be known, but Jesus will boldly and gladly confess your name before His Father and the heavenly host!
… This is Jed, he is mine, he is a child of the King! WOW!!!!!
What an amazing way to live here and now, known by Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
Allow God to do a heart check and may Jesus Christ have victory in your life...
If you guys can hear dis, you betta listen an go do wat Godʼs Spirit stay telling da church peopo.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
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