Our bible study in Revelation today is taken from Revelation Chapter 3, Vs. 1-6 where Jesus tells John what to write in a letter to the church of Sardis.
The wealthy city of Sardis was actually in two locations. The older section of the city was on a mountain, and when it’s population outgrew the spot, a newer section was built in the valley below. The problem of the Sardis church was not heresy but spiritual death. In spit of its reputation for being active, Sardis was infested with sin. Its deeds were evil, and it’s clothes soiled. The Spirit has no words of commendation for this church that looked so good on the outside but so corrupt on the inside. Even though Christ called Sardis a dead church, he also affirmed the handful of people who were faithful believers. Christ loves to defeat death. Be sure to preserve your own faithfulness. Ask God to intervene in those areas that are dead and need brought back to life.
From Revelation 3:1-6
“Write this letter to the messenger of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive – but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
The church at Sardis was urged to go back to what they first heard and believed, to get back to the basics of the faith. It is important to grow in our knowledge of the Lord, to deepen our understanding through careful study. But no matter how much we learn, we must never abandon the basic truths. No new truth from God will ever contradict these fundamental biblical teachings.
The church was also told to wake up. Their wealth and comfort had lulled them to sleep. Their self-satisfaction caused them to die spiritually. Not only had they wandered from the apostles teaching, but they were no longer growing in their faith or evangelism. They lacked compassionate service to others and had no unity or love. Are you watchful and alert? If God has given you a place of responsibility to teach, lead or server, use that position to encourage others around you to be spiritually awake and morally prepared.
To be “Clothed in White” means to be set apart for God and made pure. Christ promises future honor and eternal life to those who stand firm in their faith. The names of all believers are registered in the Book of Life and are introduced to the hosts of heaven as belonging to Christ.
How about you – is your name written on the pages of the Book of Life?
**Commentary taken from the Life Application Study Bible.