This is a continuation of my series on an apologetic reading of the letters to the seven churches in Revelation.
‘Write this to the angel of the church in Sardis. “These are the words of the one who has the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars. I know what you have done. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen the things that remain – the things that are about to die – because I haven’t found your works to be complete in the sight of my God. So remember how you received the message, how you heard it and kept it – and repent! So if you don’t keep awake, I will come like a thief, and you won’t know what time I’m coming to you. You do, however, have a few people in Sardis who haven’t allowed their clothes to become dirty and polluted. They will be clothed in white and will walk with me, as they deserve. Anyone who conquers will be clothed like this in white robes, and I won’t blot their name out of the book of life. I will acknowledge their name in the presence of my father and in the presence of his angels. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the spirit is saying to the churches.” (Revelation 3:1-6, NTE)
The church at Sardis was one that looked alive but were dead on the inside. They seemed to be doing all the right things but Jesus could see the truth. This is a risk for any church.
There are too many stories of former apologists leaving the faith and even becoming apologists for atheism instead of Christianity. They read all the right books, attend all the right conferences and present all the right arguments. But then everything falls apart and they are gone. What happened? Apologists, like the church in Sardis, can have the reputation for being alive but are really dead. The true measure of our faith is not our ability to impress others, but rather the faith we have on the inside. We need to be continually building up our own relationship with Christ.
How are you doing on the inside?
What could you do to experience personal revival?