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The Seven Churches of Revelation. Sardis Recap Dictated by Jesus – written by John The 7s Stars – angels of the churches Golden candlesticks – churches Spirits of God Jesus holds us; walks among us; is with us; illuminates and sees us One letter – 7 constituent parts

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the seven churches of revelation
The Seven Churches of Revelation
  • Sardis
  • Recap
  • Dictated by Jesus – written by John
  • The 7s
    • Stars – angels of the churches
    • Golden candlesticks – churches
    • Spirits of God
    • Jesus holds us; walks among us; is with us; illuminates and sees us
  • One letter – 7 constituent parts
    • Ephesus – lost first love
    • Smyrna – persecution ahead
    • Pergamum – false teaching
    • Thyatira – weak leadership
revelation 3 1 6 nivuk
Revelation 3:1-6 (NIVUK)
  • To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
  • These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
revelation 3 1 6 nivuk1
Revelation 3:1-6 (NIVUK)
  • Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.
  • Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
sardis
Sardis
  • Only one mention in the Bible
  • 30 miles south of Thyatira
  • Extremely wealthy
  • Magnificent buildings and communal facilities
  • Impregnable to attack?
  • Self sufficient
  • Reputation for lax moral standards
key messages
Key Messages
  • Activities (deeds)need to bear fruit
  • Past reputation doesn’t count
  • Get a grip on reality
key messages activity or results
Key Messages – Activity or Results?
  • “I know your deeds” (v.1)
  • “I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God” (v.4)
    • Unfinished = unfulfilled or immature

We're busy doing nothing, working the whole day through

Trying to find lots of things, not to do.

We're busy doing nothing, isn’t it just a crime?

We'd like to be unhappy, but we never do have the time

key messages activity or results1
Key Messages – Activity or Results?
  • Serious questions need to be asked – collectively and individually
  • Spiritual risk assessment
  • What are we called to be and do?
  • How well are we achieving them?
  • What are the results of all we’re doing?
  • Is the focus in the appropriate areas?
  • What should we stop doing because it’s not relevant now?
  • Are we holding onto things from the past that were right for their day and culture but aren’t now?
  • Do we start things but not take them to maturity?
  • Are we “filled full” or “unfinished”?
  • How have you changed?
  • What have you learned and implemented?
  • Are you on track for where you want to be?
  • Who can help you achieve it?
  • Are you growing, regressing or treading water?
  • What do you need to do more of or less of that will help you achieve where you want to be?
  • Have you even got a plan for your spiritual development?
key messages past reputation
Key Messages – past reputation
  • Reputation for being alive – but you are dead
  • Appearances can be deceptive
  • Living off past achievements?
    • Pride
    • Self-sufficiency
    • Compromise
    • Disunity

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” – 2Timothy 3:2-5 (NIVUK)

key messages dead or alive
Key Messages – dead or alive?
  • 5 Exhortations
  • Wake up!
    • Or you’ll lose what you have
    • Be watchful
  • Strengthen what remains
  • Remember
    • What you’ve received and heard
  • Hold fast
    • In for the long haul
  • Repent

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise” – Hebrews 10:23 (NLT)