The post below is about Revelation Ch 3 vs 1-6. I bring to your attention elements about the church of Sardis. There are some interesting characteristics about that church as Jesus reveals to those who dare to read the Book of Revelation. Interestingly, not many organized churches or Pastors or Preachers actually read or understand or study the Book of Revelation. Many do not teach or even discuss the Book of Revelation. Many simply hold to their understanding that the Book of Revelation is simply allegorical and wrapped in symbolism. They deny the importance of Israel and do not expound on the importance of an individual's devotional life.
So I begin here with those scriptures found in the Book of Revelation in chapter 3; verses 1-6 below:
To the Church in Sardis (ESV)
3 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
A brief history of Sardis
This is all that is left of Sardis. It is only that of ruins. But way back in 2000 B.C. it was the oldest city on earth. This was where the river in the Lydian empire was. And it was at that river that the story of King Midas (of Greek Mythology) came to be and his ability to change everything he touched into gold or silver. Sardis was the the capital and the hub of activity where important roads and travel came to an intersection. The people of this area were called Lydians. It was the Lydian empire that actually made the first coin.
Time after time, the city of Sardis was attacked by their enemies. Sardis was located atop of a great mountain. Three sides of the mountain were made of sheer cliffs almost 1000 feet upward. Only on the southend was the city of Sardis easily entered. These cliffs were made of rock and clay. At the base of the mountain was the river, and the river formed a sort of "moat around the mountain. King Cyrus instructed his army to pursue and take possession of the city of Sardis. Sardis had no need to place watchmen atop of the three sides of its city because the cliffs rose so very high and protected the city. Sardis only stationed it's watchmen at the southernmost end of the city gate. But the army of King Cyrus saw cracks that were made in the cliffs of clay. From years of moisture then drying and these conditions caused the clay to become brittle in places and crack. Cyrus' men simply scaled up through the cracks higher and higher and reached the top of the cliffs that were left unguarded, unwatched and unprotected. Sardis was overtaken by the lack of watchfulness and its own lack of diligence. "Like a thief in the night," Sardis was overtaken and fell once and for all. One would think this lesson would be remembered over time but once again in 214 BC, Sardis was overtaken exactly in the same way again and again by lack of watchfulness and lack of diligence. Sardis is known as the "City of Failure." It was pretentious or unjustified. It had the appearance of strength and fortitude but in reality it simply had a false confidence within itself. It was this that led to it's ruination. This is what Jesus preached in his letter to Sardis and that only fragments in Sardis are left secure. Jesus pointed out who these people were and we can understand what Jesus was saying by looking at the Church of Sardis, and we can ask ourselves are we Like them? 4 "Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy."
Are you a part of the remnant?
STUDY HELPS BELOW:
Church of Sardis
The Report CARD within the text:
We dont see any commendation (well dones)
What does Jesus say and what does he mean?
You have a reputation ( of being alive) But… you are dead.
Wake up! Strengthen what remains but is about to die.
Your works are not complete.
Remember what you received, keep it and repent.
If you don’t wake up, I will come against you. (how? Like a thief in the night.)
His promise: The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
The Warning: Question to meditate on: does Jesus blot out some names that were in the book of life of those that didn’t heed his words? The ones in Sardis that are doing well: Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
Extra Reading: Parable of the 10 Virgins: Matthew Ch 25: 1-13
Ephesus: devotion, not just doctrine
Smyrna: endure persecution
Pergamos: stand fast against the world
Thyatira: pagan practices
Sardis: watchfulness, diligence