20 Nov. John encourages a dead church to wake up
"Write this to the angel of the church in Sardis:"
"The One who has the seven spirits and the seven stars says this:
I know what you do. People say that you are alive; but really you are dead."
"Wake up! Make yourselves stronger before what you have left dies completely. I have found that what you are doing is less than what my God wants. So do not forget what you have received and heard."
"Obey it, and change your hearts and lives. So you must wake up, or I will come like a thief, and you will not know when I will come to you."
"But you have a few there in Sardis who have kept their clothes clean, so they will walk with me and will wear white clothes, because they are worthy. Those who win the victory will be dressed in white clothes like them."
"And I will not erase their names from the book of [eternal] life, but I will say they belong to me before my Father and before his angels."
"Everyone who has ears should listen to what the [Holy] Spirit says to the churches."
Sardis was an extensive and prosperous city in John’s day. It was founded by the Hittites in c.1200BC, captured by the Persians in 550BC, and later became a centre of goldmining and the capital of Lydia. It was absorbed into the Roman Empire in the 2nd century BC.
John tells the followers of Jesus in this prosperous city that they are dead. They have gone to sleep instead of spreading the good news about Jesus, and they are no longer doing what God wants.
The church at Sardis is living on its past reputation and is in danger of dying; so John tells them to "Wake up! Make yourselves stronger before what you have left dies completely." (Revelation 3:2)
If they don't get their act together soon, Jesus will come "like a thief in the night" (see 1 Thessalonians 5:2), and they will be completely unprepared for his second coming.
In a city famed for the making and dyeing of woollen cloth, Jesus tells the believers that some of them, however, have remained faithful and have not ‘soiled their clothes’, "so they will walk with me and will wear white clothes [to indicate their innocence and freedom from sin], because they are worthy." (Revelation 3:4)
And on the Day of Judgement at the end of time, they will gain eternal life because "I will say they belong to me before my Father and before his angels." (Revelation 3:5)
The photo shows the remains of a 2nd century Jewish synagogue at Sardis.
You can read more about Sardis @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-messages-to-the-beli…/