As we talked about the seven letters to the seven churches, I think it’s important for us to realize that these represent tendencies for all churches of all ages.
The fifth church that John wrote to in the book of Revelation, starts in chapter three verse one and speaks to a church in the city of Sardis. This church was not a church that was doing what was pleasing to the Lord.
Listen to what it says about them in Revelation, chapter three, verse two. I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead, 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.
One thing we want to always work on, both as individuals, as well as the church, is making sure that our lives match up to our reputations. The church in Sardis had a reputation. And yet, the Lord knew they weren’t really living up to it. And I think it’s very important for us to realize that in this day of images, personally, we have things like Facebook and Instagram, and we can put things out there and kind of show a life that is not necessarily accurate.
And as churches, we have all kinds of marketing opportunities. And we can send out all kinds of messages to the community, portraying ourselves as something different from what we really are.
I think what the Lord is telling us today is to be genuine. Why? Because he knows, he knows if our life is really living up to our reputation. He knows if we’re really living for him, or if we’re just simply going through the motions to impress others.
I think it’s a valuable lesson for us to remember. And you know, as the church unfolded its history, we see that there were periods of time when churches were not really alive. The church almost died out before the Reformation period. And that’s what this church here in Sardis represents.
May God help our church to be a living church, a church that is committed to the cause, that is alive with the power of the Holy Spirit. And that will happen when each member is in tune with the Lord. Surrendered to the Holy Spirit and committed to the mission of the church that Jesus Christ has given us.