Saturday, 14 February 2015

Sardis – the Dying Church

“You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die” (Revelation 3: 1,2)

When Christ’s message from Glory was delivered in the book of Revelation to the church of Sardis (situated in today’s West Turkey), the fact was that the greatest days of the city itself were over. Here was a city reclining in its past…. and - tragedy! - this spirit had crept into the church itself. Here was a church that had a name without life, a form without power, a façade without reality. Oh, they knew the right words and phrases from the past…. but it was all a hollow sham. Sardis was a dying church.

What can cause us to ‘wake up’ in obedience to Christ? In the case of the church in Sardis, part of the way back lay in the hands of ‘the angel of the church in Sardis.’ The suggestion has been made that the ‘angels’ of these seven churches of chapters 2 and 3 were none other than the pastors themselves – acting as the earthly representatives of the heavenly ‘star-like’ guardians above.

If so, then the remedy to “Strengthen what remains and is about to die” is practicable for any Christian worker or leader. Who make up the remaining tiny remnant - the faithful few - in your church fellowship or Christian meeting? We start with them - meeting, working, planning and praying together – to see if by the power of God’s Spirit a change for the better can steadily be brought about. It has happened many times before!