Sunday, February 10, 2013

To the Church at Sardis

And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 
“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. 
“You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and 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. 
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 3:1-6

5. The Church in Sardis (AD 1565-1750)


Smyrna and Philadelphia, the most afflicted, alone receive unmixed praise. Sardis and Laodicea, the most wealthy, receive little besides censure.  Easton

Now there are but very few Christians to be found here, and who have not a place to worship in, nor any to minister to them. Gill

   This message is given by the one who has the seven spirits of God (1:16) to the church that has lost the spirit of life and is dead. 3:1


The Dead Church


   To the church at Sardis, Christ says, you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.  If we suppose that each of these seven churches represents a certain church age this one surely represents the Roman church just prior to the time of the Reformation.  It was a dead church with nothing more than vice and ritual.  The lack of morality and the wickedness that some of the popes and bishops were involved in is absolutely staggering.

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.  Or, in other words, If there is any life left in your church watch over it, strengthen those who still believe and live Christlike lives.   If you do not they will lose their faith and die.

    I have not found your works perfect, is better understood as, I have not found your works completely finished. The New American Bible

     Think back, Remember how excited you were when you first received and heard the Gospel; hold fast to that and repent of your cold attitude toward Me.  Therefore if you will not watch, if you insist on sleeping, I will come upon you as a thief comes unexpectedly, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

It is Not to Late to Repent



   You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.  The "men of God" were forced to leave the Roman Catholic church in order to serve God.  Perhaps we could name a few of those: Ulrich Zwingle, George Blaurock, Martin Luther, Micheal Servetis, Conrad Grebel, Hugh Latimer, John Hooper, William Tyndale.


   But He who repents and wakes from his stupor will overcome and shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.  Even though the church situation looked hopeless, Christ did not give up on her; after all, He died for her and is now interceding for her.   There is hope, the spirit of God moved in the hearts of some men and women and because of the Reformation, the Church came back to life.   

   I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.  This statement sounds like a good argument against the doctrine of unconditional eternal security which many modern churches teach but which the early church distinctly did not believe.  The set rule for unconditional eternal security is that one must overcome.  (For a fuller treatment of this subject, from my point of view, go to:                               http://wwwthinkagai.blogspot.ca/2012/07/conditional-eternal-security.html

    but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.   While Christ was still teaching on earth He also said,  Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33.  In the 16th and 17th century millions were killed by the Calvinists (Huguenots) and by the Catholic (Jesuits) because the Christians did not deny their faith in Christ even though their steadfastness to Christ meant death.


He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  If you have any hearing left at all, listen; listen to the spirit of Jehovah, the spirit is still speaking to the churches.

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