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Sardis: The ''Used-To-Be'' Church (6 of 8)
Series: 90's Churches
We are looking at the churches in our day - the '90's - through the lenses of the seven churches of the Revelation. They give us a picture of all of the churches of our day. Everyone of these churches represent different churches that are to be found in our world. We are looking at the fifth of these churches - the church of Sardis.
Of the seven letters our Lord sent to the churches of Asia/Minor, this is one of the two letters that there is not a word of commendation or praise for the church. There is a word to the faithful few in the congregation, but the church as a whole has no word of commendation from our Lord.
Sardis was a city that was located about 30 miles from the city of Thyatira. It was one of the great cities of the ancient world, the capital of Lydia. It was located on the spur of Mt. Tmolus and it was a gorgeous, gorgeous city. It was not a little place. Sometimes when you read about these churches in the Revelation and these cities, you get the idea that these cities were small places. Those who study these things estimate that there was a population in Sardis of about 120,000 - a fairly good sized city.
It was a beautiful city. It had its temple; it had its theater that would accommodate 12-15 thousand people; it had its stadium. We are looking toward the Olympics in Atlanta and we've seen the stadium which they have built there for the field and track events. Stadiums were something that were very common in the ancient world. It was also a city that had some beautiful streets, among them the main street which was a colonnaded marble street. So, it was considered to be at one time the greatest city of Asia/Minor.
When the Lord Jesus wrote this letter to the church of Sardis it was a church that was living on its reputation in the past. It was a great commercial center, a center of the woolen and carpet industry, but it had degenera ...
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