In the book of Revelation, Jesus sends seven messages to seven churches full of admonition, conviction, and encouragement. These letters, given to the churches at the end of the life of the apostle John, are also instructive, convicting, and encouraging for us today.
In the church of Sardis, Jesus could find nothing good to commend. He could only say, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1). One of the greatest tragedies is when a church’s reputation exceeds its reality.
What does it mean for a church to be alive? Firstly, the church must live under the authority of the Word of God and must be determined to obey the Word of God. Secondly, prayer must be a priority. And thirdly, the Holy Spirit must be free to operate. When the Holy Spirit is free to operate, He is going to convict, and He is going to convert.
Can a dead church come back to life? Yes. “Wake up!” Jesus says. “Strengthen what remains . . . Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent” (3:2-3). A dead people must first realize that they are dead. And then they must follow the steps Jesus has given them to restore the church to life: strengthen what remains, remember what they have received and heard, hold on to it, and be changed by it.
This word is for us as well. We must wake up from our spiritual slumber, remember the precious Gospel that we received, and go back to it. We must take that Truth that we knew in the beginning when we first turned to God and received our salvation in Jesus Christ, guard it, and protect it. And we must be changed by it, responding to His love displayed on the cross for us. Wake up! Do you remember the precious Gospel that you received in the beginning?
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice for me. Thank You for not letting me go. Help me to return to You, hold fast to Your Truth, and delight in Your Gospel. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).
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