Write this to Sardis, to the Angel of the church. The One holding the Seven Spirits of God in one hand, a firm grip on the Seven Stars with the other, speaks: “I see right through your work. You have a reputation for vigor and zest, but you’re dead, stone-dead. “Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there’s life in you yet. But I wouldn’t know it by looking at your busywork; nothing of God’s work has been completed. Your condition is desperate. Think of the gift you once had in your hands, the Message you heard with your ears—grasp it again and turn back to God. “If you pull the covers back over your head and sleep on, oblivious to God, I’ll return when you least expect it, break into your life like a thief in the night. “You still have a few followers of Jesus in Sardis who haven’t ruined themselves wallowing in the muck of the world’s ways. They’ll walk with me on parade! They’ve proved their worth! (Rev 3:2-4)
Scottish theologian, John Caird says, “Sardis was a perfect model of inoffensive Christianity.” Their problem was not that they were wicked. Their image said “alive,” but in substance, they were dead. They weren’t passionately conservative, wanting to evangelize, or that they were more liberal, reaching out with a social gospel, they were just nothing.
Yet despite all that, they gave the appearance of being alive. Perhaps today’s Sardis would have all the multi-media, the lights, and the smoke machine. A program that geared to the audience, but excluded the Holy Spirit.
The danger for those in Sardis was they might lose everything, even their salvation.