SOUND THE TRUMPET MINISTRIES
Today we look at the practical application of the letter to the Church of Sardis.
The Church of Sardis is still in the world today, in the form of the protestant state churches. Evangelicals, generally have not been a part of Sardis. However, there are practical applications for us to make to our churches and to our own lives.
"---I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."Rev.3:1
First, all across the land today there are Evangelical Churches that are doing what Evangelical Churches are supposed to do. "Their works," seem to be okay. SECOND, They have a name and a reputation for orthodoxy. "Thou hast a name that thou livest."
THIRD, but they are dead, "and thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."
They have a full program, they appear to be a going concern. They have big budgets, large crowds with beautiful buildings. They have all kinds of activities, but all of the things they are doing could continue if there were no such persons as the Holy Spirit.
You could write over all their activities, programs, services and works,"ICHABOD" the Glory of the Lord has departed. Like Samson of old, they are the last ones to realize that the Glory of the Lord has departed from them.
Many years ago a ship was found drifting in the Antartica Ocean. When the ship was boarded, the crew was found frozen to death. The captain was on the bridge, and each crew member was at his station. When the log was checked, it was discovered that the ship had drifted like that for 13 years.
Outwardly, the ship appeared normal, it appeared as a normal ship underway, but it was a lifeless ship! That's like Sardis with their creeds of sound doctrine, but spiritually dead. Today in Europe, the bastion of Sardis, less than 2% of the population attend church, worse yet these churches have spawned the liberalism of the past 150 years. Spiritual deadness always results in disaster.
What about us? Do we have a name that we live, and yet can it be that we too are dead? I believe this deadness has spawned the User-Friendly, Purpose Driven, and now the Emerging Church apostasy.
When we take of the Bread at the Communion Table have we been feeding our souls upon Christ? When we attend the worship service, do we really worship the Lord or do we just go through the emotions? When we sing the hymns do we let them speak to our very souls, or do we just enjoy the melody? When we bring our tithes and offerings, do we do it with hearts overflowing with love and adoration and praise, or is it just a sense of duty?
Do we bother to pray each day? Do we attend the Prayer Meeting and the Evening Service? When we pray, do our prayers come before the throne and receive answers? Or, is it also just a sense of duty, something we have always done, just something we believe in doing? Do we shrink from suffering for Christ's sake? Is suffering for Christ something that is beyond the depths of our commitment to our Lord? Do we want our church to be well-known and well thought of, do we want our Sunday School to be large and growing? But, are we unwilling to make them the spiritual power they ought to be? Do we have a burden for the lost that moves us to go to them?
It is possible to be fundamental in doctrine, holding to the truth and yet be spiritually dead?
The easy roads are crowded, and the level roads are jammed, The pleasant little rivers with the drifting folks are crammed, But off yonder where it's rocky, Where you get a better view, You will find the ranks are thinning And the travellers are few.
Where the going is smooth and pleasant you will always find the throng, For the many - mores the pity - seem to like to drift along. But the steeps that call for courage and the task that's hard to do In the end results in Glory for the never wavering few.
Notice the wise counsel in verses two and three. Our Lord is really saying, WAKE-UP!!!
We are told that shortly before a person freezes to death, he begins to feel quite warm and very sleepy. If he is not awakened and made to exercise and to warm himself he will die! A feeling of spiritual warmth and satisfaction may be fatal if we do not have an awakening in our souls!
Notice the warning in verse 3, "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard and hold fast, and repent. If, therefore, thou shalt not watch, I will come upon thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." The point of spiritual peril is failure to repent.
Theodore Epp said, "God will not accept an imitation, if our christianity is not in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, His power will be removed."
Someone else has said, "There is too much playing church today. The Lord will allow this playing, but He will remove effective power from such groups."
If, therefore, thou shalt not watch, I will come upon thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."