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“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants - things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.” Revelation 1:1. Things to remember as we study:.

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“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants - things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.”

Revelation 1:1

things to remember as we study
Things to remember as we study:
  • Revelation is a book of signs and symbols. It is the Bible’s “picture book” in that the message is found in the visions.
  • Revelation was written to help Christians in the First Century who were suffering for their faith.
the city of sardis
The City of Sardis
  • 30 miles SE of Thyatira
  • five important roads converged in Sardis, making it one of the great trade centers of Asia Minor
  • first coins were minted in Sardis
  • nothing known about the establishment of the church
the church mirrored the city
The Church Mirrored the City
  • The city enjoyed a strategic location.
  • Gave the citizens an overconfident sense of security.
  • The church does not appear to be burdened with the enforcement of emperor worship.
  • Sardis was notorious for its pleasures and love for luxury.
letters to the seven churches follow a pattern
Letters to the Seven Churches Follow a Pattern
  • Identification
  • Commendation
  • Complaint
  • Counsel
  • Promise
  • “These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars” (v. 1).
  • The seven Spirits are the Holy Spirit (1:4).
  • This figure represents the omniscience (all-knowing power) of Christ as well as His control over the churches.
  • “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (v. 1).
  • They had a reputation for being a great and living church, but they were really dead.
  • “…for I have not found your works perfect before God” (v. 2).
  • perfect - “to complete, to carry through to the end.”
  • They had given up. They needed to finish what they had started.
  • “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die” (v. 2).
  • Christians are to watch (Matt. 24:42-44; 1 Pet. 5:8).
  • Now was the time to act!
  • If they were to survive as a church, they had to strengthen their faith and love and come back to life.
  • “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (v. 3).
  • They needed to get back to doing what they did at the first.
  • The city fell twice because of neglect and overconfidence. So would the church.
  • “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments” (v. 4).
  • There was a small remnant of faithful Christians in this church.
  • They had not soiled their lives by involvement in the sinful world around them.
  • “they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments” (vs. 3-4).
  • White represents both purity and victory.
  • We are pure in the blood of Christ and share in His victory over sin and death.
  • “I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (v. 5).
  • Our names can be removed from the Book of Life!
  • Jesus will confess us before His Father in Heaven if we will confess Him before men (Matt. 10:32-33).
sardis revelation 3 1 61
SardisRevelation 3:1-6
  • A church’s reputation may not be its true character (2 Cor. 13:5).
  • A church that abandons its distinction in order to blend in with the religious landscape will die without completing its works.
  • Judgment will be on an individual basis.
  • Christians are to “watch!”
  • Is my name found in the Book of Life?