Revelation 3:1-6

The Dead Church: Sardis

March 30, 2021

The Revelation of Jesus Christ Revelation 3:1-6 – (The Dead Church: Sardis)

Commission -Church in Sardis

  1. Sardis – huge city
  2. 50 – 65 miles E of Smyrna
  3. 30 miles SE of Thyatira
  4. Major trade routes (Five to be exact)
    1. Carpet
    2. Wool
    3. Garments
    4. Jewelry
    5. Textile dying
  5. Extremely wealthy but very immoral
  6. Polytheistic
    1. Many different gods and temples
    2. Kybele – mother of the gods
    3. Artemis – nature cult
      1. Temple – Acropolis
  7. Built on large fragile rock
    1. Nothing much left as it has continuously sheard off
  8. Also known for their large Necropolis
    1. Cemetery on a 1000 hills
    2. Huge burial mounds
  9. Very overconfident in their fortification
    1. Ultimate downfall
      1. King Cyrus in 549 BC
      2. Antiochus III in 195 BC
      3. Devastated in AD 17 by an earthquake
  10. Church was discovered next to the Acropolis
    1. Attempt to shine the light in a darkened place
  11. Time period referred to in history (1517-1750)
  12. Modern day city of Sart
    1. 5300 people

Character – He who has the seven spirits and the seven stars

  1. Seven represents perfection and completeness
  2. The sevenfold spirit – Isaiah 11:2-5
    1. Spirit of the Lord
    2. Spirit of Wisdom
    3. Spirit of Understanding
    4. Spirit of Counsel
    5. Spirit of Might
    6. Spirit of Knowledge
    7. Spirit of the Fear of the Lord
  3. Seven angels
    1. Messengers
    2. Spiritual leaders
    3. Held accountable to Jesus to the spiritual life and service of the church Commendation – A remnant
  4. Some say no commendation at all
  5. Letter is more of a rebuke and correction
    1. Instead of the church standing up for righteousness, they made peace with the unrighteousness
    2. Lost their witness
  6. Jesus does say
    1. I know your work
    2. I see your reputation of seemingly being alive

Condemnation – Spiritually Dead

  1. However, you are not alive
    1. He sees it all
  2. This was an active and effective ministry
    1. Spiritually dead
  3. Incomplete works
  4. Religious activity but no evidence
  5. Activity does not equal vitality

Challenge – Pay attention and be steadfast

  1. Be watchful
    1. Wake up to your spiritual state
    2. Renewal by
      1. Remembering your original commitment
      2. Reversing your conduct
    3. Strengthen the things which remain
      1. Remove false doctrines
      2. Carnal leadership
      3. Unbiblical practices
      4. Meaningless activity
    4. Embrace the doctrine and repent
    5. Hindson suggests the following:
      1. Remember your conversion
      2. Keep to the truth
      3. Repent of your apathy
      1. Could have done more but didn’t
    6. Do it or I will come
      1. In history
        1. Second coming is happening no matter what
        2. Occurred in history (Rev. 2:16)
      2. Futuristic
        1. Churches were expecting His return
        2. Phraseology is similar
    7. I Thessalonians 5:2 & 4
    8. Matthew 25:43-46
    9. As a thief in the night
      1. Over confidence will get you
        1. Cyrus overtook the city
        2. They weren’t paying attention
        3. Previous history should have taught them
        4. Enter unknowingly, secretly and deceptively – mainly because we aren’t paying attention

Partial Commendation

  1. A small remnant
  2. Have not defiled or soiled their garments
    1. Garments could mean person
    2. The pagan religion required cleanliness, or they could not enter the temples
    3. Christians with soiled garments were seen as mingling with sin
  3. The remnant
    1. Those able to walk around the defiled and remain undefiled – keeping their garments clean
  4. Sunday best
  5. Reclothed in righteousness
    1. His gift to us
    2. Walk in white
      1. Cleanliness
      2. Purity
      3. Righteousness
  6. They have earned it
  7. Faithful people who gained spiritual victory over the paganism around them

Reward – Overcomers

  1. Overcome
    1. Stay with it
    2. Will be clothed in white
  2. Those who are born again will remain in His care
  3. Promise of eternal citizenship
  4. Book of life
    1. Mentioned seven times in the Revelation
  5. Two thoughts
    1. They have done nothing to where their names should be removed
      1. Can our name be removed?
      2. What would it take for it to be removed?
    2. All who are born start in the book of life
      1. After age of accountability a decision will be made
        1. Follow and remain in the book
        2. Do not follow and be removed
    3. Psalm 69:28, Exodus 32:33 ** Some would argue – once in, always in ** Some would argue – get in and work to stay in ** Some would argue – if you think you are out maybe you were never in ** Some would argue the age of accountability
    4. What is the passage really revealing?
      1. Decide to follow
      2. Stay with it
      3. You’ll be fine
  6. He will not be ashamed to announce us before the Father


  1. Possible for a church to have a useful, happening reputation but be absolutely spiritually dead.
  2. A dead church can have saved people in it.
  3. Three keys to revival
    1. Godly messengers
    2. Work of the spirit
    3. Sincere repentance