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The church in Sardis had an outward reputation for being alive, but their inward reality was…different. This church was dead. From the outside they seemed alive, but inside, they lacked life.

The seven letters at the beginning of Revelation have multiple layers of meaning. They speak to the actual churches of that day, individual churches of today, a personal application for us, and a correlation with church history. This letter corresponds to the period of church history known as the Protestant Reformation—which had name outwardly, but over time lost their inward reality.

But it didn’t begin this way for the church in Sardis, for the churches that call themselves Protestant, or for the churches and people to whom this applies today. Listen to our study from Sunday as we considered each of these three in our study of Revelation 3:1-6.

Read ahead for next Sunday! We’ll be studying the letter to the church in Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13).

41st Annual Mayors Prayer Breakfast

Thursday, November 21st, 6:30am-9:00am
River's Edge Convention Center

Gather together with others from our community to lift local mayors up in prayer and enjoy a delicious breakfast. This year's speaker is Lee Strobel. Lee is the former award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and bestselling author of more than 20 books. For the last 25 years, he has shared the evidence that supports the truth and claims of Christianity, equipping believers to share their faith with the people they know and love. His story was recently made into the motion picture The Case for Christ.

Hey Children's Ministry Volunteers! We'll be getting together in December for a time of fellowship, refreshment, and review of the vision for Children's Ministry in our fellowship. Volunteers for each class will be meeting on different Sundays so we can discuss topics specific to each class:
  • December 1st: Nursery Servants
  • December 8th: Pre-K Servants
  • December 15th: K-5th Servants
We'll gather in the Children's Ministry rooms in the lower level following service and meet for an hour. If you are serving or want to serve, please come for a time of refreshment & review of our vision for Children’s Ministry. Please contact Pastor Nate if you have any questions or for more information.

Be Encouraged

In the letters to the churches at the beginning of Revelation, the names of each city relates to the content of each letter. Sardis means “escape” or “to escape,” which speaks to the chapter of church history this letter addresses—the Protestant Reformation. The Protestants risked everything to protest the unbiblical practices and doctrines of the prevailing powers in the church of that day. They gained a name that was synonymous with courageous faithfulness and contagious loyalty to Jesus. 

But something happened to that Back-to-the-Bible revival. Over the course of time, their faithfulness and loyalty lessened. They had an outward reputation, but no inward reality to match. What began as a movement of the Holy Spirit became a man-made manual, which became a monument, which ended up as a mausoleum—dead.

Could the same be said for our church? Could the same be said of you? How is your walk with Jesus? We must heed the lesson from the church of Sardis—individually and collectively. We must continue walking in the Spirit and resisting the temptation to perfect a genuine movement of the Spirit in our flesh.

If we are not careful, we can be lulled into a self-confidence that causes us to cease being watchful and strengthened through the simplicity of loyalty to Jesus and His word. If we are not watchful, the enemy can sneak right in and attack our intimacy with Jesus on the inside, even as we hold to doctrinal purity on the outside. And if we are not careful, we will find ourselves holding on to dead orthodoxy—simply going through the motions of vain repetition.

Set a watch! Be on guard! And purpose in your heart and mind to strengthen the simplicity of walking with Jesus in the Spirit.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

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