The dead church.
And to the angel of the church of Sardis write: The words of him who has the seven spirits of God (Rev 1:4) and the seven stars (Rev 1:16).
I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Christ starts out with a very direct statement of their condition. No commendations for them, only rebuke.
How would that statement sit with you? On the outside you are alive, but what is on the inside is dead and dieing. This reminds me of the portion of the 7 woes in Matthew 23: 27 & 28 (which started this study) where Christ talks to the Pharisees about being white washed tombs. All pretty on the outside, but decaying on the inside. What makes a church end up like this? What fundamental issue is lost? Could it be they have watered down the gospel?
I need to mention this here. Whether it pertains to this church or not. There is a church in our area that in recent years the pastor has stated that he believes there are other ways to heaven then through Jesus Christ. He learned this while in Rome. When he was in one of the churches he noticed that the sun shone through the Apostle Peter as much as it did Jesus, so he had an epiphany. Just in the last couple of weeks the church he was once pastor of (when he had his epiphany) took the cross of their building because it is offensive to others. They are now an inclusive congregation that takes peoples from all religions. They are no longer closed minded and intolerant. It is a slippery sloop that one climbs on when taking the TRUE gospel and distorting and destroying it!
WAKE UP and strengthen what remains and is about to die! There was still time to repent. To wake up and continue the work that was not yet complete. There was still hope for this church, how be it small. REMEMBER then, what you have received and heard. KEEP IT AND REPENT!
~An interesting note from Sardis' history. Twice it had been captured while their watchmen slept. So sleeping is something they do well in Sardis, and it has worked against them, as scripture always says ( check out these scriptures on Watchmen & sluggards: Is 56:10; Prov. 6:9)~
Christ mentions, as he does elsewhere in scripture that if they do not wake up, he will come as a thief, and no one would be prepared for his coming. Could it be that in the church that I mentioned above, someone was sleeping and allowed the heresy to take place, and now look where they are?
"YET, you have still a few in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy." Another remnant. Even in churches who are dead or about to die there is a small remnant of godly people who are worthy. Here again is a called for the righteous to persevere.
The one who conquers (overcomes, over powers, triumphs) will be clothed thus in white garments (the raiment of victory!!!) and I will NEVER blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name BEFORE my Father and before His angels!
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches!