On our journey through Church history and a stroll through the Book of Revelation, we find ourselves in Sardis. The word Sardis means: “a remnant” or “escaped.”
I think that is why the word “Escaped,” caught my eyes this week during my study time.
In our walk today, it is more important to heed the words of Jesus Christ and not lean upon what we grew up with. For many of us, we grew up with more manmade rules rather than with the Spirit and Truth that surrounds the Throne of God.
I grew up in a church that was all about manmade rules and striving to live by being good or I wouldn’t go to Heaven. Yes, it was a hopeless situation. That is why it is so important to seek that personal relation with Jesus.
Let’s read the Word now:
The Message to the Church in Sardis
“Write this letter to the angel 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, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed 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. (NLT)
So many thoughts came from this study about what is happening in our world today. And fortunately, we can learn from history what we need to be focusing upon today.
This church in Sardis was during the time of the Reformation. Oh yes, some good came from that, but we must be careful to look at all that transpired during that time to see what we need to hear and learn from the Spirit today. This is why I encourage you to take a walk through Church History with an open mind and learn from the mistakes of the past.
The Reformation had many good points and yet they didn’t take it far enough. You may ask why? The Protestant Movement pointed out the many errors of the time mainly against the Roman Catholic Church. During the Seventh Century, many errors were brought to the forefront regarding continued sacrifices and pagan worship/doctrine and yet those involved with the Reformation movement, didn’t heed their own words.
This church became heavily involved in government and the trying to please all men mentality and that just does not work well. And sadly, we are seeing a movement taking place today doing the same things. Anytime we take our focus off of God and put it on to man and their ways – it never works.
Jesus Christ uses his characteristics in these verses as the “one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars.” The sevenfold Spirit represents the Holy Spirit and the seven stars represents angels.
The worse part for them was that they thought they were alive and yet they were actually dead! Wake up! Their actions did not represent God. Plain and simple Truth!
I think it is important to point out here the difference between “wake up” and “woke up.” Today there is a movement called “woke!” Yes! We must be careful of what this movement is bringing about. It is mixing in government with manmade rules and thoughts about social justice/injustice. These actions that we are seeing do not line up with the requirements of God. We are already seeing the fruit from this movement and it is chaotic, which is our first clue that it is not in alignment with God.
Once again, learn your history and don’t get caught up in manmade laws and rules. I guarantee it never works out. What do we need to do?
Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. That is what God is calling us to do today. We have seen this language throughout the past weeks and going back to your first love, remember what you knew at first and whom you trusted in and hold firmly to it. And if we don’t wake up, he will come like a thief in the night.
And then comes a small statement: “Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil.” There is that remnant group – those who escaped from the State-run Churches. And this remnant will walk with Him.
These words that I studied this past week are strongly attached to me. These are words to heed. This is a time of repentance and returning to God. Back to the basics. This is a time to hear and listen to the Spirit and understand what is happening today.
There is so much history that I am skipping here because I can’t cover it all. But this is a time to become aware of what is happening in the church today as well as in the world. We must be careful that we don’t find ourselves putting our trust in the State – the Government – the “Woke Movement.”
Memorize John 10:10 –
John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV)
Jesus offers us life – life to the fullest. Jesus died once and for all for all that seek Him. There is no longer continual sacrifices – He was the sacrifice – died once and for all. Period. He offers each one of us a personal relationship with Him. Desire Him! Desire His Ways and His Thoughts. Desire to become more like him each day.
Heavenly Father, these were eye-opening words for me this week. We must keep our eyes upon you – you alone. May we honestly seek you in this coming week to see where our walk with you stands. I thank you, Father, continuously for opening my eyes to your Truth and revealing to me the manmade rules that almost destroyed me. I love you, Lord. l ask this in Christ Jesus’ name, amen.