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September 24, 2021 6:20 am
This Saturday edition of truth matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis. She continues the revelations series. The series started in the book of Daniel several months ago and is now progressed into the book of Revelation as we study the seven churches of Asia. The books of Daniel and Revelation, as well as other Scripture are considered companion narratives of end time prophecy Dr. Davis topic today is the seven churches of Asia. The seven churches are located in present-day Turkey. We literally existed at the time that the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation and are comprised of seven letters that Jesus wrote to these churches. The letters were meant primarily for these early churches. However, the message and the letters are as relevant today for the church as they were at this time they were written. Now Dr. Cheryl Davis with today's lesson the church of Sardis.
The church that is spiritually fallen asleep.
Dr. Cheryl Davis is truth matters.
Thank you for listening last time we were together, we surveyed the church of Thyatira.
We ended in chapter 2 of Revelation and John's letters to the churches in chapters 2 and three. Last time and looking at the church at Tyra Tyra I the Lord found some good things to talk to them about they were faithful they were loving. They were loyal they were long-suffering and I said there was evidence of maturity within the church. But just like Jesus to give commendation. Jesus always gives an option for repentance. There is always a way out here, and even to the church of Tyra Tyra but does that did repent and those that overcame he gave a strong promise that he would give power over the nations that he shall rule them with a rod of iron, and they shall be dashed to pieces that the potter's vessels as I have also received from my father and I will give him the morning star.
So these are promises that those that would hold fast what you have until Jesus came he pushed them to be faithful but moving on to chapter 3 we get into the first six verses where John is writing the letter to the church at Sardis. Let's begin in chapter 3 verses one through six and to the angel of the church in Sardis write these things that he has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars I know your works. You have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. The watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die for. I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not let out his name from the book of life that I will confess his name before my father and before his angels.
He has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches each time that we break down these letters. First, we look at the destination of the letters that this time will not be any different. The destination of this letter is to the church at Sardis just to really get into some historical info about the city before we digest the letter the city of Sardis was considered to be one of the most impregnable cities of its day, much like Babylon and when I say impregnable.
What I mean is that the city was unable to be penetrated from an outside force. It was like a fortress that was on lockdown.
Very secure. Sardis was located about 1500 feet above the valley floor on top of the mountain spur and there is a fortress around the city, the greatest king of Sardis was named Crow recess. A man remembered for his great wealth. Unfortunately, it was his overconfidence in the security of his city that calls this downfall crisis against better advice went to war against Cyrus king of Persia. He was defeated and driven back to his city that he thought was safe.
Cyrus was smart. He knew the art of reconnaissance. The Persian soldiers camped outside of Sardis install a sardine and dropped his hat at the top and then appear at the bottom of the wall to retrieve it so he knew or Sardis and his men knew that there is a secret passage to get into the city.
They rated the city late at night and open the gates from the inside. There was a guard posted at the gate, assign that they had faith in their fortress. 100 years later the city was destroyed a second time. The same way when I hear the story.
Think about the old saying told me once shame on you for me twice shame on me.
This will be important in looking at the letter and its message to the church at Sardis.
The letter to the church at Sardis is the fifth letter that was written by John inspired by his visions on the Allapattah Sardis is known as being the first Center for the minting of gold and silver coins in the city was defeated by a surprise attack. In addition to looking at the destination of the letter.
Each time we look at the designation of the Lord and in verse one, and to the angel of the church in Sardis write these things says he and he is the Lord has the seven spirits of God and who has the seven stars each time we talk about the seven spirits of God.
The reference to the seven spirits is in Isaiah chapter 11 verse two, the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear the Lord.
These are the seven spirits of the Holy Spirit, referring to the Holy Spirit in its fullness. There were seven churches in a sevenfold ministry and presence of the spirit, the Holy Spirit was active in all seven churches to which Christ wrote letters and we know that by them having lampstands. He also held seven stars, which are the seven angels or pastors of the seven churches, and this is mentioned in Revelation chapter 1 verse 20 he has the Holy Spirit and control over the pastors of the seven churches, and control what I mean by way of the pastors submitting themselves to the will of the Holy Spirit and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them in order to bless the churches but to the letter of Sardis.
It is not like the feedback sandwich that Christ gave Gaia Tyra here in this letter. He begins with a very sharp denunciation of the church. In verse two he says you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. It's pretty profound. It's pretty serious, and the fact that you have a name that you are alive in your peer and your breathing, but really spiritually your dead. The church is to now spreads outward profession that is inward deadness when is that at one time the church is denounced for its outward profession of faith but is inward deadness and what this really is is nominal Christianity nominal Christianity means is a person who is a Christian in name only.
Sardis was full of nominal Christians was more of a mausoleum than a church and nominal Christianity is critiqued in Scripture a number of times in the Old Testament we find it in Isaiah chapter 29 verse 13 therefore the Lord said, inasmuch as these people draw near me with their mouths and honor me with their lips that have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the commandment of men said here. This is nominal Christianity speaking and honoring the Lord with their lips, but in their hearts they are far from them. We also see another critique of nominal Christianity and in the New Testament in Matthew 23 versus 27 through 28 and here Jesus is talking to the scribes and the Pharisees were to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanliness. Even so, you also outwardly appear righteous. Two men but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. So it's very clear that an outward appearance of following Christ and being a Christian.
But on the inside where where it really matters. They were dead. The church is not only denounced for its outward profession of faith and inward deadness. The church is announced also for its incomplete works in verse two it says I have not found your works perfect before God, perfect means finished, complete full-field.
Their works were occurring, but they were not complete. They were like religion that never got past the infant stage they never grew to maturity in Christ. But would that denunciation Christ gives the church at Sardis, a direction is really at the church of Sardis. There were three groups of people. They were the unsaved. There are the carnal Christians who acted like they were not saved. And then there were the remnants of Christians who are true and authentic. Does he love God and were trying to make the church what it should have been in this really reminds me of that verse in verse Peter 418 that says if the righteous scarcely be saved. Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear really in across the speaking to the church. Overall, but looking at these three categories of Christians, we see that even in our modern churches today were there unsaved there carnal Christians. And then there is a remnant of the true small group of people that are really carrying the church spiritually in verse two.
Jesus tells them.
Be watchful. Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.
Remember how you received and heard hold fast and repent sellers look at these directions. The first one, meaning the watchful become vigilant and vigilant means that your keeping a continuous watch.
You are anticipating some type of event when I think about having vigilant I think about first Peter chapter 5 verse eight where it says be sober V vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Let's turn over to the Ephesians chapter 5 verse 14 that says therefore he says awake you to sleep arise from the dead in Christ will give you light so this is really calling the church to become watchful to wake up to become vigilant, knowing that there is an enemy out there that is roaming however to be anticipating the return of Christ which really that's how this applies to the modern day church today is that we should be vigilant and looking for the return of Christ. But really Jesus is saying to them, you are about to lose everything that you have there is a little bit left and you may lose that to. If you do not wake up. In addition to be watchful. He's selling them strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die. Studies telling them to really become vigorous when things are when you think about plants that are about to die, we either give them more water or more fertilization, but in this case the church there were parts of the church that were ready or that were about to die dying on the vine.
In a sense he's telling them that you need to vigorous you need to wake up and be vigilant, but also you gotta restore life. Those that are true believers in the church must be vigorous in strengthening the remnant that remains chapter 3 verse four it says there are a few here who have not defiled their garments, we know that there is a remnant within Sardis. There were a few that had not defiled their garments, therefore, that is the source of the vigorous life that will come into the church.
Those that were alive could encourage the others by reading, teaching the word and living by example.
In addition to telling them to be watchful to strengthen all that he said remember how you have received and heard.
He selling them to become victorious. Remember what you have received and heard physical death and a person is the separation of the spirit from the body.
The same is true in the death of the church when the spirit of God leaves the body of Christ in a particular church. That church dies. Examine your own life. Examine your own church in the light of Sardis try to avoid nominal Christianity have a vibrant heart not just a vibrant mouse as it comes to giving God honor and glory with your lips. Make sure that your heart is purified and that you live a holy and righteous life that is acceptable that your offering yourself is your reasonable sacrifice and until next time I will get into the next church in the next litter of Philadelphia. Dr. Cheryl Davis. The truth matters next week. Our study from the church of Sardis to the six church church of Philadelphia, Church of the open door. Our study of the seven churches is historical in nature.
However, with each church mentioned in Revelation, Jesus shares not only of spiritual and moral evaluation of each of the seven but he also shares a redeeming message of hope, restoration and forgiveness. These churches will return to the words Jesus expresses to the seven churches were only relative time, put our respect for today's church as we are indeed a reflection of the seven churches. If you would like to reach truth matters with Dr. Cheryl to do so by email. Cheryl Davis project truth matters.com and regular mail PO Box 150 St. Paul's, North Carolina 2834. Please connect with us on Facebook and listen to a recent broadcast of the revolution series on one project. Truth matters.this is truth matters with Dr. Cheryl Davis