As Jesus continued with his letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, He came to the church in Sardis. This church was rebuked by Jesus for being lifeless. To onlookers, they may have appeared alive and well but He could see their heart and He saw no life in them. They had been lulled into complacency by their own comforts and Jesus warned them to “wake up”. He warned them that they had better strengthen the little spark that was remaining before there was no flame left to fan. Their deeds were incomplete in the sight of God and they needed to get back on track!
Sadly, many churches today are also lifeless. They may be filled with people “working for Jesus” – but many churches have forgotten the most important thing, the gospel message. If we devote our lives to providing shelter, clothing, food, and justice for people in need but we never tell them about the hope that can only be found in Jesus, then we have failed miserably. People need Jesus! These earthly things are important, but they are only temporal, and they can be lost in a moment. The hope and salvation that Jesus offers can never be taken away. What matters the most to Jesus are eternal souls. The gospel is the foundation of the church and the most important job we have is to go and make disciples!
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually – regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20 AMP
There were a few people in Sardis that had stayed on track and Jesus promised that they would walk with Him dressed in white because they were worthy. He gives the same promise to all who overcome.
Jesus commanded the Sardis Christians to remember what they had received and to hold fast to it. They needed to get back to the basics and so do we. First things first – preach the gospel! People who really know Jesus cannot keep quiet about it. When He changes your life, you want the world to know. If the church isn’t sharing the gospel any more, what is the point of the church?
For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? – Romans 10:13-14 NLT