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A Dying Church

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    1. A Dying Church The Church in Sardis Revelation 3:1-6

    2. Review Christ is examining 7 churches Ephesus Loyal but lacking love Smyrna Poor but rich Pergamum A compromising church Thyatira A weak strong church Now we look at the church in Sardis, again beginning with the historical setting

    3. 30 miles from Thyatira

    4. Sardis, the city The upper city was built on a mountain 1500 above the valley Only one way up, easily defended

    5. Sardis, the city Temple of Artemis Cybele (Not Greek Artemis) Cybele was a fertility goddess Worship was wild feasts and orgies Sardis became known as the Corinth of Asia Cybeles altar (also used to refine gold)

    6. Sardis, the city

    7. Sardis, the church Rev 3:1, the problem Unlike other letters, the problem comes first Dominates the church Had a name (reputation) as alive But really were dead No longer active, loving, faithful

    8. Sardis, the church Rev 3:2-3, the challenge Wake up! Dont drift away into death Strengthen what remains Not completely gone Build on the good (more about this later) Finish what youve started A sign of impending death is dropping the ball Remember the meaning of the gospel Keep the words of the gospel And REPENT! Or theyll be judged as they are (1 Thes 5:2-11) No more warnings

    9. Sardis, the church Rev 3:4, the positive A few walk worthy Judgment is individual Not told to find a new church Did not soil their garments Perhaps in the temple rites Perhaps in the gymnasium or bathhouse

    10. Sardis, the church Rev 3:5-6, the reward White garments Unsoiled, forgiveness (Zech 3:1-5) A victory, celebratory garment Name not erased, but confessed Matt 10:32-33 Salvation

    11. Lessons for today Dont judge a church by its appearance or reputation, but by its work and heart Dont abandon a dying church, but work harder to save it and save your brethren If the gospel hasnt changed your life, then you either didnt hear it or you forgot it Judgment is personal, the church cant save you or condemn you But your actions (or lack thereof) as part of the church will be judged

    12. Conclusion How does Christ view the church? Does He think it needs spiritual CPR? Does He find only a few who walk worthy? Are our garments clean or soiled? If theyre soiled, He offers a way to clean them Why not get ready now?