From the outside, the church at Sardis seemed to be just fine. They were busy with the business of doing church and they had a reputation for being alive and well.
But the Lord, who searches hearts and minds declared it dead.
It reminded me of a similar condemnation Jesus gave in Matthew 23:23-28. The scribes and Pharisees were sticklers for the law and, by all appearances, were alive in their faith. Jesus, however, compared them to white washed tombs – beautiful on the outside but filled with death.
👉 Appearances can be be deceiving to the world but not to the Lord.
The good news is that even when things are dead (v 1) and dying (v 2) – Jesus offers hope.
“Repent,” he said. “Wake up.”
👉 Works – no matter how many or how impressive – done solely for appearances and lacking a heart for honoring God and loving others – are deemed incomplete by Jesus (v 2).
No matter how much effort we exerted or money we spent. No matter how much time we gave or accolades we received.
If we got upset because we weren’t the center of attention or someone else got the credit. If we were miffed because we didn’t get our way or have our say. If we forgot Who it was all about anyway.
Jesus says, “Wake up.”
And we must wake up because, if not, judgement will come suddenly and without warning (v 3).
👉 The one who wakes up, overcomes, remains faithful…
• will be clothed in white garments
• will never have their name blotted out of the book of life
• will have his name confessed by Jesus before the Father