Of the seven churches Jesus had John write letters to, one of them He said was dead -the church in Sardis. Here we have a body of believers who thought they were alive in the Lord. Can you imagine their reaction when they read the letter? Many would be offended, and others would not believe that this was a letter from the Lord, much like how we would receive such a word of accusation today.
I believe that they strayed by doing this one thing, and we are not exempt from doing the same today. That is when we are right in our own eyes. What drives our ‘faith’ is from something outward or of our flesh, from the sense of duty or to feel good. The focus and point are always about us if we were to have an honest look.
What is missing?
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38
To move from being dead to being alive is a supernatural work. It is not a subtle thing that you can scarcely detect – but is the same power that raised Christ from death to life – entering in us! If we do not have this witness in us, something is amiss at best and, at worst, we could still be dead in our sins!
The church of Sardis then and now live dangerously because they are religious and are good people – and think they are safe (and saved) in this. They talk the (Christian) talk but do not walk the (Jesus) walk, which He requires us. They are ripe for the taking – by the coming thief and are being warned by the words of Jesus today:
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. – Revelation 3:1-3