Dead Church Sardis
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Dead Church Sardis
(Revelation 3.1-2a)
Page 61

"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!'" (Revelation 3.1-2a)

Lacking Spiritual Life

Sardis columnsJohn of Patmos wrote this letter of Revelation under the instruction of an angel to Sardis, which is now called "Sart" in modern Turkey. It was in John's day a wealthy but unfortunately a dead church. Though once a great citadel, Sardis is today only an ancient pile of rubble on a hill top. There is no life or spirit there. The once great Sardians became soft, and twice they lost their city because they were too lazy even to keep watch. The church's vitality was gone and it was a corpse instead of a living community. This is a warning in our own day of the death trap of lethargy in our own churches.

Seven Spirits

Seven SpiritsThe name, "seven spirits of God" was thought to be an alternative name for the Holy Spirit. The seven stars, were probably leaders of the seven churches in Asia to which John of Patmos under the guidance of the Holy Spirit initially wrote his seven letters. The Sardis church was a picture of nominal Christianity, busily being religious but lacking spiritual life.

Nominal Christian

The theologian Douglas Wilson in "Reformed is Not Enough" disagrees with the notion of a "nominal Christian" and argues that all who are baptized enter into a covenant with God, and are obliged to serve him. There is, therefore, "no such thing as a nominal Christian any more than we can find a man who is a nominal husband". The Sardis church was told by God to "wake up." With the call to wake up comes the possibility of recovery and new life. Sardis, the dead church, should have been able to get back her power but failed.

"Dead Church Sardis"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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