The letter to the church in Sardis

References: Revelation 3:1-6

The modern world seems to be in constant motion and if one does not keep up; they can be overtaken, overrun or sidelined. The reputation of constant activity or busyness seems to be what communicates that one is alive or ‘has it going’ in our society today. Therefore it is common among many individuals to be vibrant on the outside, while perishing on the inside. Moreover, Pete Scazzero who has authored the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality book series observes that the culture in most churches today that promotes constant activity among the believers has to some extent fueled the neglect of the inner life with God hence the decline in the quality of our walk with God.

The evident results of this are in the form of spiritual and emotional immaturity among believers, who are active on the outside yet have unhealthy souls, which explains the increasing levels of compromise, lack of integrity, backsliding, the works of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21) and religious activity that is not based on a Christian conviction.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The words of the song ‘Believe’ by Hill Song Worship echoes the message of Jesus to the Church of Sardis and a personal resolve to restore the power of the cross in one’s life which that entails repentance and obedience to God.

The reputation is that of a church that heard the true gospel of the Christian faith but has slowly faded from it (vs.3a). Despite this, Jesus indicates that there were remnants who have maintained their spiritual fervor and whom He urges them to emulate (vs. 4-5). In as much as each one is responsible for their own walk with God, it is our hope that we will help each other identify the causes and signs of spiritual slumber as we seek to spur one another towards keeping our spiritual fire burning (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:24).

1 Thessalonians 5:11

 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Hebrews 10:24

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,

Read Revelation 3:1-6


A summary of the content in the letter to the church in Sardis

This letter was addressing a dead church. it had no commendation from Jesus. From the other churches you notice that he would tell them the areas where they were doing well and congratulate the church for their work, however it was different for the church in Sardis. He has nothing good to say about the church except for a very few people; however nothing for the church as a whole. The message to the church is simply to wake up.

Jesus referred to them as dead because on the outside they appeared to be alive however on the inside they were spiritually dead. As the introduction to this text above aptly states, they were constantly busy and seemed to be in a lot of activity however dying on the inside. Jesus provides a solution for this church which is to remember the teachings of Christ Jesus and to repent of their sins.

In my reflections I begun to evaluate what would be considered spiritual slumber: One would be only going to church on Sunday and beyond that put your bible back to the shelve and use it again on Sunday.  I have been here and slowly waking up. Taking up the challenge of first going for bible study, learning the word of God so that it is etched in my heart for when the enemy attacks. This year I have done 2 bible studies. Both bible studies are essential for me in my Christian growth. My first one is Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) which concluded in May and I am looking forward to the one that begins in September. The May study focused on the book of Romans.

The second one is my current bible study from Christ is The Answer Ministries (CITAM) -Buru Buru where I get the opportunity to reflect and share through my blog. And I don’t want to be like the church in Sardis, I want to use my blog as a platform to share the word of God. I would like to be in a place where I influence those around me to know about Christ. A church that is in spiritual slumber is that one where they do not go out of their way to evangelize the good news of Christ and focus only on prosperity gospel. That would be the evaluation of a church that is in spiritual slumber.

Christ requires of us to repent and wake up from the slumber. Be vigilant and aware of the word of God. Make the word of God part of your lifetime journey and not only a Sunday affair. Our encouragement should be that we still have the opportunity to receive forgiveness. We can salvage what we already have in our Christian walk. Complete all the deeds that Christ deems unfinished. In this case challenge yourself to be more than just a Sunday Christian by spending your time reading the bible, encouraging other christians and in prayer.

Our encouragement should stem from the fact that we shall be victorious in the end and our names will not be blotted out of the book of life. We have the promise from Christ to be acknowledged before God and his angels (vs.5)




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