Letter to the Church in Sardis – Revelation 3:1-6.
The seven spirits of God is a reference to the Holy Spirit. This church had a reputation for being alive. It was the kind of place about which people today might say, “They have great music and great preaching.” Yet because Jesus knew their works, he saw there was no true spiritual life there (3:1-2). They were merely playing church.
The believers in Sardis, then, were to stop the spiritual sleeping. The remedy included remembering what you have received and heard. Jesus warned that he was coming in judgment. But as he does repeatedly with his people, he gave the church in Sardis an opportunity to repent first (3:3). Notably, a few believers in this church were committed spiritually and not acquiescing to spiritual apathy (3:4). 3:5-6 White clothes for the one who conquers represent the garments required for a special event, like a gown or tuxedo of today. The promise to never erase his name from the book of life is not a reference to eternal life, because every believer has a secure place in heaven. Instead, the names in this book are invitees to special fellowship with God, to an exclusive party, so to speak, for those who persist in spiritual vitality. The special clothes and invitation list are two parts of the same metaphor: a banquet with God for those who conquer. At that banquet, Jesus will brag on the conquerors before [his] Father and before his angels (3:5).
- What does a dead church look like?
- What makes a church become dead? Root causes?
- How can a church “look good” or have a false “reputation” of good?
- What kind of preaching does a dead church have?
- What would be the warnings Jesus would give to a dying church?
- Does Jesus still consider the “works” of a dead church?
- How can you be falsely “alive?”
- What makes people still cling to a church even after it “dies?”
- What does the community look like with dead churches?
- What does the community look like with alive churches?
- How can we tell apart from a dead Christians and an alive Christian? What do they do?
- Does a living Christian still benefit from God if they are a committed to a dead church?
- What makes you want to be a living church?