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The Lifeless Church - Part 1 (4 of 5)
Introduction: Nothing seems more frightening than to think that one day we could look back with fond memories of what we used to be, but no long were. May our end be better than our beginning. Sardis was a church that was only a shadow of its former splendor. Somewhere, in its past, it had grown comfortable and content and was living on its past reputation. There was a reputation without reality and a form without a force. It gloried in past splendor, but ignored present decay.
The name Sardis translates remnant. It was this initial spiritual remnant that held the future of the church's ministry. They were the only hope, for Christ had said, "that are ready to die" (v.2).
Astronomers tell us that light from our nearest stars are trillions of miles away. We measure the distances in light years. One light year equals the distance that light, traveling at more than 186,000 miles per second, travel in one year more than 6 trillion miles. That star could have plunged into darkness 30 years ago, and its light would still be pouring down to earth. It would be shining as if not happened. It could be a dead star, shining solely by the light of a brilliant past. The church of Sardis was like that. It had a name that it was alive but Jesus pronounced, "you are dead."
They still shine with the reflected light of a brilliant past. Yet the spiritual darkness of false teaching and sinful living has extinguished the light on the inside. Sardis could well be nicknamed "The First Church of the Tares." Example: HAITI-Pearl of the Caribbean
I. A Word To Awaken Them 1-3
A. Appearance 1
Little was lacking in the outward appearance of this church. It was possibly recognized by the world as an outstanding church. Probably gave 10% to missions, had a five star WMU, well staffed, great Sunday School, and a great discipleship program. However, note Jesus, "He ...
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