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The Lifeless Church - Part 2 (5 of 5)
Introduction: Sardis was a church that was made up of the "has beens." They were noted for a strong past, but a very bleak present. In verse 1 Jesus mentioned that most of the church had no pulse, "you are dead." In verse 4, He speaks to the only hope for a bright future by mentioning the "few names." His words are a call to alertness, to awaken from their slumber. It is when the church's leaders and members get accustomed to their blessings and complacent about their ministry that the enemy finds his way in.
The impression is that the assembly in Sardis was not aggressive in its witness to the city. There was no persecution because there was no invasion of the enemy's territory. No friction usually means no motion. The unsaved in Sardis saw the church as a respectable group of people who were neither dangerous or desirable. They were decent people with a dying witness and a decaying ministry.
I. THE LORD'S COUNSEL 2-3
Verse 2 was a call to renewal or revival that would come by recalling their original commitment and radically reversing their current conduct.
"Perfect" as used in verse 2 speaks of fulfilling the purpose as to why you are here. He is calling them/us to carry out God's purpose for their/our existence.
In verses 2 and 3 we find truth that once embraced can lead to spiritual restoration, renewal, and revival.
A. Remember the Past 2-3a
In the letter to Ephesus, the Lord called the church to "do the first works"
"be watchful" - wake up! Evaluate the situation, get involved in changing things, confront the sin and error, and make a difference.
"strengthen the things which remain" - reminds them that they have lost sight of spiritual realities. They need to fan the flame of their dying embers.
"Remember how you have received and heard" - go back to remembering the gospel and the teaching of the apostles. They needed ...
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