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).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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