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September 20, 2019 1:00 am
In our growing up in the Middle East. We are taught that your reputation is your most treasured possession. In fact, in days gone by reputation was considered to be far more importance and wealth, money or prestige or power. In fact, reputation was more important than life itself because of your reputation has been solid. The models will not be alive and I thought about this and I realize, of course, it like everything else. If you get obsessed with reputation. It can lead to hypocrisy if we get obsessed with reputation. It can lead to unhealthy concerned only with the external if we are obsessed with reputation alone, then it can leave the tubule personality the public person in the private person. We see that repeatedly in the pages of the gospel of how the Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees again and again and again because of their obsession only with the outward reputation only with the external appearances only with stop rather than substance and receiving a lot of that in our culture today in Jesus review that obsession. For good reason for when one's reputation becomes an obsession that person is going to do everything possible to hide the real person is going to do everything possible to act and outward role will do everything possible to pretend to be what he or she is not someone said if you spend too much time on polishing your reputation your character will become tarnished. In fact, some years ago a story I read many years ago about the Harvard economist by the name of John Kenneth Galbraith and he worked for the Kennedy administration and one day the New York Times printed a profile of Dr. Garber and happened to be the very morning that he was having breakfast with John Kennedy and Kennedy asked him he said that what you think of the article and Garber said well he says finally said, but I just don't understand why they keep on calling me arrogant upon which Kennedy said I don't see why not everybody else does it see often.
We don't even know our own reputation.
How we are known, but that doesn't matter really ultimately I wanted to hear me or I to am going to tell you it doesn't really matter because the only reputation that you need to be concerned about is your reputation with God. The only reputation that is worth caring for his what God thinks of you. The only reputation that really matters is your reputation in heaven saying about you and when you reputation is right with God.
You don't have to worry about people because God is going to give you favor with people in today's message to the church in Sardis is a message of a total rebuke and hear the Lord resurrected Lord Jesus Christ ascended Lord Jesus Christ. The glorified Lord Jesus Christ looks down upon these group of believers in that town and he sees them as people who have nothing that he can praise him for this is the first time both of you will be listening the flask for churches that we looked at the next two WC at least was something praiseworthy that Jesus said about this group or that group. This group he had nothing to praise him for and that expresses his deepest anguish as the Redeemer of the church is the Savior of the church and so he expresses it in this message that he send to the believers in the town of Sardis a few having already turned in your book of Revelation in your Bible. Chapter 3 I want to turn chapter 3 beginning of verse one to the church in Sardis write. These are the words of human who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars I know your deeds, you have a reputation of being alive, but your dad way up strengthen what remains and that's about to die, for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of my God.
Remember therefore what you have received and heard. Now about it, and repent.
But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I'll come to you yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes, they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they were three he who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out their name from the book of life, but I will acknowledge his name before my father in his engines. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches father. It is my plea that you will give us inward ears spiritual ears that you will give us spiritualize that we may hear and see what you are trying to say to us at this very moment in this very time, for we pray this in Jesus name, amen. 700 years before the Lord Jesus Christ. The resurrected ascended the glorified Christ send this message to the group of believers in Sardis 700 years before Sardis was one of the greatest city in the whole region and that whole area. In fact, the wealth of Sardis was legendary, but for two centuries. It vanished from history under the Persian occupation, but after two centuries Sardis was resurrected again by Alexander the great.
He rebuilt it and turned it into a Greek city.
But history repeated itself again and again after the death of Alexander the great. Sardis was defeated once more until were taken over by the Romans, and turned into a Roman city. Why am I telling you this am interested in teaching history know there's something very spiritually important about this because in every one of those messages that we have been seeing the Jesus speaking to his people. He takes a cultural characteristic of that city. All of these people, and he warns the believers, his believers, his children against adopting the outside culture into the church.
What Jesus is saying that the church ought to change culture not to be influenced by culture that is diverted depth and the cry of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ and all these seven messages.
And here is no exception. So what is Sardis to see the people in Sardis had the reputation of being lazy. The people in Sardis were known for relying on the reputation for relying on their wealth.
The people of Sardis became known for loving, soft living, easy living, comfortable living and they would not even defend their own nation when it was invaded by a foreign invader and that attitude has seeped into the church that the believers become like the people of the world and the people around them of the city to where preferring easy living comfortable living soft living over against faithfulness to the living God that they claim to know him and so the resurrected Christ saw this attitude and he saw this going on in the heart of his own people, and therefore he cries out to them.
He yells out to them to become so deeply concerned please please wake up before it astutely sends this message to the church to the believers to the questions in Sardis. There are three things here that I want to share with you that come very clearly that I communicated very clearly by the Lord Jesus Christ. Three things. First, you see Christ's admonition of their reputation.
Secondly, you see Christ's antidote for the faith restoration and family. You see Christ's acknowledgment of them in the day of final revelation. So it is Christ's admonition. Christ's antidote, Christ's acknowledgment what is Christ's admonition to the church. What is really deeply hurting the very heart of the Lord of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ and analytical. This message dead Christians walking why because of the condition of the Christians in the church. In fact, that those words really describe the condition of this particular church, but if you look at verse one Jesus first introduces himself, and he introduces himself as the one who has the seven spirits and of course he is.
Over the seven stars. What is that mean it means the number seven is a perfect number. It's a number of completion.
In fact, it's a number of perfect completion and that is the power of the Holy Spirit of God. He is a spirit of wisdom is a spirit of holiness. He is this minute of conviction. He is completely perfect in every way and his spirit, the Holy Spirit is able to penetrate deep in the heart of everyone who claims to know Jesus Christ as Savior. Not only that he is in control of every one of the church is represented by the seven stars so was he introduced himself. He goes on to expose the spiritual bankruptcy is a God sees through what man cannot see. Listen to what Jesus said, you have the reputation of being alive, but not eyes see all things and I my verdict is that you are dead. These egos believers have acquired reputation of involvement in the city. They have acquired the reputation of being involved in society probably people have traveled from all over the commission to study the techniques people probably have traveled from all over the Cummins study the program.
People probably have traveled from everywhere to study their organizational structure. They probably came from everywhere to study the use of technology people were coming from everywhere to see how they been able to keep unbelievers in the church without being challenged without reprinting how they want the unbelievers to come and to never be asked to repent and turn to the Lord is not wonderful. I'm believers going to church but I never hear the gospel of Jesus Christ was the condition of the church. Jesus said it was a spiritual graveyard is a spiritual graveyard love and I wanted to listen to me listen to me carefully. Outward appearances can be very deceptive. Outward appearances can be very soothing but is deceptive and one of the things that I've learned through the years. One of the things that I've learned that when the world speaks well of you. Watch out when the world begins to pray easier. One child, when the world begins to try to identify with you what shall, like the old-timer who said he said when the world becomes so churchy.
Watch out because the church have become so worldly you reputation with God, not of the world that really matters reputation in heaven, not necessarily on earth that really matters in the world looks on the outside but God sees the inside. God looks through to the heart is perfect Holy Spirit. The seven spirits PCs through listen you know and I know you don't have to tell you this only need to do is be alive to realize that there are so many spiritual zombies in our call. There are so many spiritual zombies that appear on the outside to be alive, but in reality the all seeing God is saying you can't fool me. I can see straight through you. I know what you're doing in secret. I what you think in private what you plotting and planning.
Inwardly I know you God whom you see. I know nothing and I know that you have the reputation of being a spiritual giant, when in reality you are spiritually dead. Just this week friend call me.
I haven't heard from in a long time is been involved in another church in another area actually is been involved with young adults and he was lamenting and crying literally is saying how so many of them of that party on Saturday night until their drunk and then they talk to each other as they were leaving which service are you going to go to tomorrow. We don't pretend anymore.
We don't even pretend anymore. We have reached such a low ebb that only the power of God, the Holy Spirit will be able to get us out of it.
In fact, that is the one thing that Jesus said to the Pharisees over and over and over again and they did not like he drove them crazy because Jesus exposed the real Pharisees, not what they projected themselves to be and very did not like it anymore than our generation likes it. I was thinking about this in our thinking about how the church is so into the world not read the story recently about the two brothers their wicked there were evil they were corrupt. There were known for their corruption and evil and godlessness. One of them died, so the other brother went to the parish priest and his father.
I know you know as well. I will give you a ton of money if you get up at the funeral and say that my brother was a saint. Now that put the priest in a conundrum. He knew that he could do with the money the church could do with the money but he will be truthful in doing a lie so you finally got up at the funeral and he said this man lying here.
He was wicked. He was evil, he was godless. But in comparison to his brother.
He was a saint probably got the money, but you see Christ's admonition regarding their false reputation. Secondly, Christ's antidote for the faith, restoration, receipt, Jesus wants you to be restored. Jesus is not out to punish you. He wants to restore you whenever you run away from the Lord. He has only one desire for you to turn back to him for you to repent for you to go back to where you have failed and repent and turn to the Lord. That's his desire that's the cry of his heart and we see it in every one of the seven churches, and so what is the antidote to words which you can hear them in the original language. It's like someone crying out, saying way literally if somebody was speaking it instead of being written, it would be.
I yelled out way and that is the cry of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the antidote for their misery for their problem. Probably the best word picture that I can describe for you that church would be like a fire that's about died down and just stood being there at the bottom there's some smoldering coals that still have a spark left in. That's probably a picture of those Christians in the city of Sardis and that is why Jesus is saying to them, to the small remnant is saying to them that you still have a spiritual spark in you left, he is saying to them wake up and ignite the rest of you please save my cup and see when you spiritualize that there is no condition in which the church is in wake-up and light up the flame of the dying ember wake-up and go back to the truth of the gospel wake-up and get on your knees on behalf of those who are being become deadwood wake-up unrepentant. We run so over the condition of the church. That's what Jesus is saying to his church today, I've been finding myself reading more and more about what God has done. As a result of people crying out to the Lord for the Holy Spirit to sweep across the land. In 1904 the Holy Spirit began in Wales and then from the very beginning to flow into the United Kingdom and here in the United States. Shops were closed in the middle of the day so that people can go to prayer meetings in Atlanta, Georgia on November 2, 1904 1000 businessmen in the city of Atlanta, gathered together to weep before the Lord and cry over the loss and cry over the nation and by December 1904 newspapers were publishing the names of the new believers and in two months they published 70,000 names prayer meeting were jammed to the wall, all as a result of faithful believers who went to the Lord and cried to the Lord, the Lord do his work and his power of his Holy Spirit sweep again. As a result of this outpouring of the Holy Spirit, broken marriages, what restored people were healed. Restitution became commonplace in the coal mines of Wales, they couldn't get the call out because the ponies were so used to listening to the curses of the minors and when the language got cleaned up and it trying to get the ponies to move the calls they couldn't get them moving many policeman got out of business cards did not have anybody turning up for because nobody was taken to court. All Lord God might he remember that again churches were open 24 hours a day.
Men and women Boys and Girls Club, and different times of the day, and literally they would weep over their friends over their family members who don't know Jesus and I want to tell you something of there is a desperate condition in the church of Jesus Christ today is today. Preachers are refusing to preach the gospel out of fear that watering down the word of God.
People say well when about the love everybody.
We can really call sin.
Sin. This may let me tell you something. We love all sinners, where sinners saved by grace what we call sin. Sin in our lives as well as in the lives of the house because our desires to please the Lord Jesus Christ. Because I know from history. I know from history that when the spirit of God begin to move among us we would not have to bagman to sign up for prayer breakfast, we would not have to beg people become the prayer meetings we would not have to beg men and women to give up their addictions and the immorality we would not have to beg people to tie and to give generously to the work of God, we would not have to do any of this because the spirit of God is going to come tells him to do all Lord might we see a fire again, my beloved, I want to tell you, Jesus is saying to us today. Wake up, wake up, wake up and recognize the desperate spiritual condition that we are in the desperate spiritual condition that we finding ourselves and I'm convinced that a generation from now on this God move in some supernatural way they got me looking at us in the same why didn't you do something about it. Cry spiritual antidote was wake-up. Remember repent and receive the power of the holder started afresh. Don't try to do it on their own steam because you failed and you will fail again. But when the Holy Spirit of God comes upon you when you seek the Holy Spirit to fill you when using the Holy Spirit to fill you to overflowing is going to do great and mighty things for you. That's how is antidote describe the people of Sardis.
Christ's admonition Christ antidote for the Christ acknowledgment of them in the day.
The final revelation. What is Jesus saying the last couple verses, he is saying that the faithful believer is going to give a twofold promise for those who refuse and keep on refusing and they keep testing the patience of God. He said I'm gonna come on you that's not the second coming, but somehow his gonna come in away and enough time you not anticipating and you going to see the judgment of God upright nobody, nobody is listening to me today would be in the condition but for the faithful believers. He said he is a double promise is a twofold promise first to sit or be closed in white busy white robes in the Bible are symbols of festivities.
So, while those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ will be in torment and in pain. Those faithful believers are going to be dressed in white celebrating with the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus tells us about the parable of the wedding feast is those who come to the wedding feast will be handed a special wife row. You cannot go into the marriage feast of the Lamb in heaven without that white throne.
The groom will hand it to you but also white robe symbolized victory in the Roman culture after major military victory people wore white and the whole city was called White city. But why drugs also assemble of purity and a symbol of righteousness for those who have kept themselves from being shorter with the dirt of this world and the sin of this world and the passions of this world they will receive their white robes of righteousness and purity and holiness from the hand of Jesus. But why drugs also stand for the resurrection.
You see those white robes amount hours, you can't. You can pay for them. You can't work for them then will be given to you from the Lord Jesus Christ is a gift of grace.
But more important, the second part of the twofold promise is that the names will not be wiped out, of the book of life, but rather, Jesus said, I will acknowledge them before my father in heaven. Beloved, listen to me listen to him in the ancient days each King had a registry book in his palace and in that registry book, the name of every citizen is written and only two things that would make that citizen's name be blotted out of that registry. The king will take the name out.
If a person commits a crime against the state. For if the person dies. Those are the only two condition that a citizen's name removed out of the book of the registry of the king, please listen carefully in a far far far greater way the Bible said that in heaven there is a book that Jesus has a book and in that book written the names of all the faithful believers. Defendant is not written with pencil so they can be arranged know they are written by the blood of the Lamb and the reason they are written by the blood of the Lamb is so that no one can erase the name no one can remove the name no one can wipe out the man and I wanted tell you.
I know that when that day comes, I'm gonna stand up there and I know that he's going to call my name and when I hear my name called is because Jesus who promised that he will acknowledge those who've acknowledged him before man. He will acknowledge them before the father not because of who I am, not because of who you are, but the names are going to be called simply because Jesus promised that anyone would come to me.
Anyone who would repent of their sins that not only forgive their sins, but I'll write their names in the book of life. That's the only reason why I am sure that's only reason why I'm certain is the word of Jesus and he does not lie and I know on that day he's going to call my name because I've acknowledged it before man. I know that Jesus is going to call my name and when I hear my name. I'm gonna say Lord Jesus, thank you for saving me, Lord Jesus, thank you for redeeming me, Lord Jesus, thank you for sustaining me, Lord Jesus, thank you for keeping me Lord Jesus, thank you for acknowledging me before your father just as you promised you would when the roll is called up yonder when the roll is called up yonder when the roll is called up yonder. I'll be there. Will you be there. I wanted tell you something today. If you're not sure you going to be there. You can be, not based on anything you can do you can do a thing about it all the money can buy all your efforts can generate only the promise of Jesus.
He who comes to me I will never reject and that is the basis on which you can be sure you can be sure today and so as we go to prayer in a minute I'm gonna ask you that if you're not sure you make absolutely certain. Today anchor your hope in the promise of Jesus anchor your faith on the word of Jesus, shall we pray together, a loving father, we thank you for Jesus, we thank you that he gave us his word of exhortation, his word of challenge, but he also gave us his word of promise.
Father, we thank you that we anchor our hope not on our efforts not on who we are not in our reputation but we anchor our hope is who Jesus is and who he called us to be the children of the living God. And so Lord will stand up in response to your conviction. I will ask your Holy Spirit of God that you touch every heart that is crying out to you, Holy Spirit of God. I pray for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit that will sweep across the land begin in this place burned with fire, the dross of sin.
Father we pray in the name of Jesus that you would use this in a mighty way to love and care and express your love for the world and your desire to see that everyone would be saved both father we pray this in Jesus name, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael use that recently featured on leading the way.
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