“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, `These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘ (Rev 3:1-6 NKJ)
We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. (1Jo 3:14 NKJ)
A name says a lot about who you are; it can tell and person where you’re from, and even about your family. A good name is important, in the old days, churches would usually bear the name of the denomination and the location. Today, however, many churches have decided to use different names that mention something about the ministry therein. In London, our church was called ‘Living Waters Christian Fellowship.’ You might assume from the name that the church as Spirit-filled and that the Holy Spirit was moving in that ministry. You would not have been disappointed. The other week we were in the supermarket and saw the name on a packet of fish, ‘Atlantic Cod,’ and the small print on the back said produce of China. There’s something wrong with the name; it was deception.
The Sardis church had a name for being alive but inside was dead. All fizz and no substance, all shout but no Word, or as 1 John 3:14 suggests, no love for the brethren—I believe that God’s love is broader and more inclusive than some Christian want to believe.
Jesus was telling the church to:
1. Wake up to what to the words of life you first received
2. Stand fast
3. Listen to the Holy Spirit.