A Study on Revelation – The Church of Sardis

In this letter, today’s daily thought we will briefly discuss the Church of Sardis which was consider “The Dead Church, time period A.D. 1520 to the Tribulation. Sardis means “escaping ones” or those who “come out”…this church represents the age of the Reformation.


Sardis represents the Protestant Church as we will see in today’s letter.

Let’s take a look at Revelation 3:1-6 …verse 1: “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:”

Here we see the Lord describe Himself as the Sender of the Holy Spirit, as Owner and Possessor and can make His messengers of the Churches shine as stars.

1. Christ praise and approval as stated in verse 1 …“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—(to those that had placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation obeying His teachings in the Bible on salvation)

2. Christ disapproval as stated in verse 1…but you are dead.” (Salvation does not guarantee consistent obedience to the Holy Spirit… steadfast consistent obedience is a result of a day-to-day submission to the will of God.)

The Protestant Reformation which was a separation from the Roman Catholic Church, was brought about by Martin Luther through His writings in “watchword” in which He placed scriptures such as Romans 1:17 “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Salvation was not a result from “works” but by “faith” through the grace of Jesus Christ. This sparked interest in studying the scriptures for themselves.

The Reformation churches became what were known as state churches. This eliminated the need for personal acceptance of Jesus Christ and their individual relationship to God.

As a state church, approval had to be sought out from the political leaders thus the Reformation churches did not change many of customs and teachings of the Church of Rome. Ritual and formality were the characteristics of pagan forms of worship such as; sprinkling baptism, some elements of the sacraments which appealed to the sensuous human nature.

The bible teaches that God must be worshiped in spirit and truth. The main purpose of the church is the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ thru worship; bring people face-to-face with Jesus Christ in a personal way thru song and word not with the “mysterious” feeling of worship.

3. Christ advice, warning and encouragement in verse 2-3, Now wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is at the point of death. Your deeds are far from right in the sight of God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly and turn to me again. Unless you do, I will come upon you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.

Advice to the Church:

  • the need for strengthening the good doctrinal teachings of early days…the very authority of the Word of God.the need to depend on God rather than on the state church and ritual.
  • the need to “obey” the teachings of the Word, not conforming to the denominational preconceived ideas of the church and their interpretation of the truth, don’t give up or compromise the approved position that characterized the Reformers.
  • the need to “repent”…which involves not only an act of turning to God, but a submissive heart. Submission to the Holy Spirit would have guided them “into all truth”.

The Reformation churches needed to “repent” return back to Christ, seeking His will and His Spirit’s teaching. The Holy Spirit will guide, lead and teach us all truth.

This message is for Today’s churches as well as the Sardis Church or the Reformation churches, because you did not heed to the Lord’s warning…

verse 3: “Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly and turn to me again. Unless you do, I will come upon you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.”

  • …they will lose out and miss the rapture, when Christ returns for the Church.
  • the need to depend on God rather than on the state church and ritual.
  • the need to “obey” the teachings of the Word.
  • …not conforming to the denominational preconceived ideas of the church and their interpretation of the truth
  • …don’t give up or compromise the approved position that characterized the Reformers.
  • the need to “repent”…which involves not only an act of turning to God, but a submissive heart. Submission to the Holy Spirit would have guided them “into all truth”.

The Reformation churches needed to “repent” return back to Christ, seeking His will and His Spirit’s teaching.

This message is truly for Today’s churches as well as the Sardis Church or the Reformation churches…because you did not heed to the Lord’s warning…

verse 3: “Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly and turn to me again. Unless you do, I will come upon you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.”

…they will lose out and miss the rapture…when Christ returns for the Church.

4. Christ challenge to those who face up to the test …verse 4-6Yet even in Sardis there are some ho have not soiled their garments with evil deeds.

They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. v 5 All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.

v 6 Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches.There are those who have obeyed God’s Word “who have not soiled their garments with evil deeds.” that is, who have not compromised with the attitude and conduct of the world, and chose to live a separated and Godly life.

Yes, as stated in Revelation 3:5 (KJV) “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;” In the (NLT), verse 5 “All who are victorious will be clothed in white.” “He who overcomes” or “victorious” refers to those who have been born again by faith in Christ (1 John 5:1-4)

…1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”The (NLT) reads “For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory.” “White” in verse 5 refers to the righteousness of Christ which we are clothed when we are born again.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (KJV) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

As stated in verse 5 “All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine”.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour we become an “overcomer” “victorious” and are in right standing with God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT) “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

Can one’s name be blotted out of the Book of Life? YES…

1. for sinning against God… Exodus 32:33 NLT: The LORD replied to Moses, “I will blot out whoever has sinned against me.”

2. for not being an overcomer… those who have been born again by faith in Christ are those who are overcomers and those who put their trust in Christ Jesus.

1 John 5:1-43. for taking away from the words of the prophecy in Revelation 22:19 (KJV) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

In short…anyone who has sinned against God has his or her name blotted out of the Book of Life upon death!

Do you know that your name is in the Book of Life?

Maybe you have once given your life to Christ, but now your relationship with Him has grown cold…

…from sin
…from lack of obedience to His Word
…from compromising to this world
…you can come back into “right standing with God” by “repenting”.…

TODAY, right now, get on your knees, repent and ask God to cleanse you from your sin and save you…for God is merciful and gracious.

Yes, God is a forgiving God, A SAVING GOD!

Jesus Christ is COMING BACK…for the overcomer.

Are you expecting HIS RETURN?

As always, Love in Christ Jesus,
Paul Lundmark

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