“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few names even in
Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. ” (Revelation 3:1-6)
Outwardly, they had the appearance of being alive while inwardly, spiritually they were dead….. They were the same as what we would call unconverted sinners, the same as Adam and Eve after the fall, before the sacrifice of Yehovah (Jireh).
The church at Sardis (Capital of Lydia, an area known for it’s worship of the idol “Artemis” the “so-called” goddess of fertility) was located about 30 miles Southeast of Thyratira, and is the subject of the fifth letter written to those described as being “The Dead Church.”
The life of the body is the spirit. When the spirit departs, the body is then considered dead. As is the natural, so is the spiritual and this is how it was with the body of “believers” at
Sardis. As man would look upon them and sees them, everything about this church “outwardly” appeared perfect, but the Lord, who looks into the heart of man and from whom nothing is hidden or secret, observed them and found great imperfections within. They had become “spiritually dead”, despite their reputation of being known as a “spiritually alive” church. The name they had made for themselves as being a church that was “alive” and “godly”, was in essence only an illusion, a deception, for the only godliness they possessed was that of having a “form” of godliness (2 Timothy 3:4). They lacked the true power of God because they had not the life and Spirit of God, and what little there was left among them was quickly perishing as well. The Lord warns them to strengthen the little that did remain, and to “be watchful”, as it is clear the cause of their spiritual death was due to the fact that they’d let down their spiritual guard. They were not “watching and waiting” before the Lord that they might hear His voice (Psalm 8:34) and therefore were not keeping themselves pure and being doers of the Word (James 1:22-25) but merely hearers of the Word. Jesus said “blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28) and “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
They no longer were careful in their watch against sin, but became slothful with the exception of a few there whom the Lord acknowledged as “not having defiled their garments” (not have given themselves over to sin and had remained faithful to The Lord), and for such he declared would walk with him in white, for they were worthy.
There are many today as there were in the church at
Sardis who fit perfectly into what should be labeled as “The They have become “spiritually dead”. They appear to be full yet they are truly empty. They appear to be “on fire” outwardly, while inwardly they’ve long since doused the flame. They work their works without perfection, for they’ve lost their purpose for the works, as they are no longer done through genuine love, but to be seen and praised by man. They are so caught up in the “outward” that they’ve neglected the “inward”, and have removed the Spirit from leadership by welcoming the things of the flesh. Services have become ritualistic and robotic, where man dictates and the Holy Spirit waits his turn. The Spirit is not given opportunity to “have his way” and fill the sheep of the Lord with His presence, but is welcome at set times, and removed abruptly when man believes he has been filled. However, the truth of the matter is in such cases that they’ve never truly experienced the presence of Almighty God, despite the illusion they cast off as having been in the presence of his Glory. For only a TRUE hunger and desire for Him will usher in his presence. Not by words alone, but from the depth of ones soul, for he CANNOT be manipulated, nor will he appear and disappear upon command. The Spirit of the Lord comes where He is indeed welcomed. He comes not to put on a show as He’s not about theatrics, but about POWER to deliver from sin and bondage and comes to draw us into that perfect place of fellowship with our Heavenly Father where we can walk in the liberty and victory of the Spirit of Christ. Dead Church”.
Many within “the dead church” attempt to operate in the things of the spirit WITHOUT the Spirit, and this is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to do. Walking in trespass and sin, spiritual ignorance, being carnal minded, hypocrisy, unbelief, alienation from God and the like, all will result to “spiritual death”. WITHOUT the Spirit, the body is dead….WITHOUT the Leadership of THE SPIRIT, there is NO leadership….
For those of “the dead church,” problems begin when they take their focus off the spirit and by letting down their spiritual guard; they are open to sin and deception. This may even come in the form of “godliness”, but may not be the thing “God Commanded” them to do. Because it may “look” good, doesn’t mean it is indeed good or needful. For example, to build great buildings for the “spoken purpose” of congregating the sheep - may appear to be the “godly” thing to do, but the “God Commanded” thing to do would be to first FEED the sheep. This is the spiritual priority. For while much focus is being placed on glorifying and expanding the beauty of the building, The TRUE temple where The Holy Spirit is housed, “The body of Christ,” his beloved sheep go hungry both physically and spiritually. While the building of stone is strengthen, the body is weakened and glory is given to the building while the Spirit is no more. Having the body WITHOUT the Spirit will NOT produce good fruit of the Spirit, but corrupt fruit of the flesh. We must be spiritually minded in ALL things.
Just as the church at
Sardis was commanded of the Lord to “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent” so it is to all who’ve become spiritually dead in the things of The Lord. Remember the blessedness of the Lord, his grace, his mercy, his unfailing love, and how it was you received Him and cling to this! RETURN BACK to your first Love in sincere repentance, giving the Holy Spirit His rightful place in you! If you’ve CONFESSED Jesus as LORD of your life, LET HIM INDEED BE SUCH! Remember that without the Spirit, the body is dead! It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth NOTHING (John 6:63)!
A...B...C’s of Salvation
Jesus said: "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6)
There are many whose families have been “Christians” for generations but they have never experienced personal salvation. They regularly read their Bible, say their prayers, attend the Church Services, and so on, but they would not be in a position to give an instant "yes" answer to the question, "Are you saved?" In the same way, there are numerous non-Christians who attend Gospel Campaigns and listen to Christian radio or TV programs regularly, without ever coming into a personal experience of salvation. The reason is that these sincere people have never been told the simple steps to God's great Salvation. Today can be your day of Salvation if you follow these three simple steps—
Accept that you are a sinner before God. Our so-called good character may even be a hindrance for our personal salvation. Our own righteousness is like filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6). Maybe you are free from apparent bad habits. But it is "from the heart" that sins like evil thoughts, covetousness, envy, pride and the like spring forth (Mark 7:21,22). We "all" have sinned and fallen down from God's standard (Romans 3:23). Unless we accept the reality that we are lost and in need of salvation, we will not acknowledge the need for redemption.
You must believe that Jesus Christ bore your sins on the Cross and died for you. Basically we are enemies to God, because we have gone astray as sheep from the Shepherd and have been walking against the Law of God (Isaiah 53:6). Christ came to reconcile us with God the Father (1 Timothy 2:5). He suffered and shed His blood for us. His blood alone can cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7). Believe on the Name of Christ and receive Him as your Sinbearer and Saviour (Acts 16:31).
Declare through words what you have believed in your heart. When you confess that Christ is the Lord of your life, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Baptism in water is a sign of your commitment to Christ and a step of obedience to God (1 Peter 3:21). Jesus told His disciples just before He left for Heaven, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved!" (Mark 16:16).
Kneel down right now, where you are, and say this prayer:
"O God, I am a sinner. Be merciful to me. I believe on Christ and accept Him as my Lord and Saviour. Receive me as Your child. Thank You, Father, for saving me. Amen!"