Seven Churches – Sardis: The Dead Church
Sardis was the capital of Lydia in Western Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). It was 50-60 miles northeast of Smyrna. Sardis stood on the river Pactolus, at the foot of Mount Tmolus.
Sardis was the capital of the ancient Lydian Empire and the residence of kings. It passed to the Persians, Greeks and Romans during their dominance of the ancient world. In AD 17, an earthquake desolated Sardis and eleven other cities in Asia Minor. The city was rebuilt, although it did not thrive like it did prior to its destruction.
The church of Sardis had a reputation of being alive, although it was spiritually dead. The church of Sardis was affected by the complacency of the city and its reliance on its past glory.
Sardis was like whitewashed tombs which appear outwardly beautiful, but are full of dead men’s bones (Matthew 23:27). Its thriving, healthy appearance masked an inner decay (Nelson’s Bible Dictionary).
“These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God” – xref Isaiah 11:2-4
- Spirit of the Lord
- Spirit of wisdom
- Spirit of understanding
- Spirit of counsel
- Spirit of might
- Spirit of knowledge
- Spirit of the fear of the Lord
The seven Spirits of God are not seven Holy Spirits, but is the seven-fold character of the Lord. (Kat Kerr, who has been caught up to Heaven on many occasions, says that the seven Spirits of God are seven spirit beings who minister before God’s Throne, which includes the Holy Spirit, and six other spirits.)
“And the seven stars” – the seven stars are the seven angels (bishops) of the seven churches, according to Revelation 1:20.
I know thy works …
- Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.
- You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
- I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead – physically alive, but spiritually dead (a church, nation, individual)
- Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
- Hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
“He that overcomes …”
- Shall be clothed in white garments (Revelation 19:8 – robe of righteousness).
- I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life. Those whose names are written in the Book of Life will have access forever to the tree of life in Revelation 22:2
- I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Matthew 10:32)