Sardis the Dead Church
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Sardis Dead Church (Revelation 3.1-2a)

"To the angel [or "messenger"] of the church in Sardis write: 'These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits [that is, "the sevenfold Spirit"] 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 columnsWhen John of Patmos wrote his letter under the instruction of the angel to Sardis, which is now called "Sart" in modern Turkey. It was a wealthy but a dead church. Though once a great citadel, Sardis is today only an ancient pile 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.

Seven Spirits

Seven SpiritsThe seven spirits of God are thought to be a name for the Holy Spirit. The seven stars, may be either messengers, angels, or leaders of the seven churches in Asia to which John of Patmos initially wrote his letters. The Sardis church was a picture of nominal Christianity, busily being religious but lacking spiritual life. The theologian Douglas Wilson in "Reformed is Not Enough" disagrees with the category of "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 is told by God to "wake up." With the call to wake up comes the possibility of recovery and new life. Sardis the dead church could have been able to get back her power but failed.✞

"Sardis the Dead Church"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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