Revelation: The Church of Sardis, Wake Up! | May 25, 2023

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A game I like to play is settling into a comfy chair with my book and blanket to read for the next 2 hours and fall asleep in 10 minutes. I’m so cozy! Maybe it’s the warm fire or the rain on my roof, the soft chair and blanket… none of these bodes well for staying alert and reading late into the night. These are all ingredients for falling fast asleep. Every. Single. Time.

Being comfortable lulls me to sleep. And the same seems true for the city of Sardis. It was a military stronghold, a fortress, and it was wealthy. It was so secure and arrogant that twice it was conquered by surprise attacks when the watchmen weren’t … watching. They were so comfortable in their security that they let down their guard. How ironic that the church of Sardis did the same. They were so comfortable in the way they were living out their faith, they were falling asleep in the middle of it all! The culture was creeping into their church.

 Revelation 3:2-6 ESV

“‘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. 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. 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. 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. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Being comfortable is a problem when there is a task at hand, and it was going to cost them if they did not wake up and see what was going on. In the following passages, where do we draw life from? How do we stay awake and stay on gospel mission?  

John 6:63

63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

John 7:37-39

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

 John 14:16-17

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

Ephesians 5:14-21

“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Reflect: How can you give more room in your life for the Holy Spirit to work? To wake you up when the way of culture begins to creep into your faith?