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Bobby Stafford Sardis (The Dead Church)
Revelation 3:1-6  Lesson 8


The Letter to the Church at Sardis

Lesson 8

Text:  Revelation3:1-6

The Church at Sardis 


Sardis was the capital of Lydia and a commercial trading center.  Five major highways led to it.  It was naturally fortified on three sides which was why it had only been captured twice.  The city was taken when the attackers came from behind and took the city when the defenders weren’t watching carefully. 


I.  A Dead Church  (Verse 1

  • “Seven Spirits” – Symbolic of the Holy Spirit with His gifts and power

  • “Seven Stars” – Messengers (angels) or leaders

  • “I Know” – Christ is always aware of what is happening in every congregation.

  • Christ knew their reputation as a “living” church was false.  They were actually dead!  Even though others thought highly of them, Christ knew better.

  • Even though a congregation may have a great deal of activity (programs of different kinds, meetings of different age groups, trips, etc.) does not mean the Lord approves of them.  Faith and obedience are what matters.  (Hebrews 5:9)

II.  Wake Up  (Verses 2-3) 

  • They needed to wake up and watch.  (Ephesians 5:14-16)  There was still hope.  “Strengthen” – They still had a few good works but they were dying.

  • “Not perfect” – They needed to finish what they had begun.  (Acts 14:26)  Jesus wants us to be faithful in our endeavors for the church.

  • “Remember” – Hopefully they would see their condition and make appropriate changes.  (II Corinthians 7:8-11)

  • “Come as a thief” – Possibly an allusion to His coming in judgment on the unrepentant.  (Revelation 2:5)  The church had become much like the city.  They needed to remember and repent.

III.  A Few Were Still Alive  (Verses 4-6) 

  • There were still a few in the church who had not stained their character with defilement of sin.  (Jude :3)  They were walking in purity of holiness.  (Revelation 7:9)  These few were the only real hope for the congregation.  Their worthiness was not due to the works of merit but to faithful living.

  • White is heaven’s color. – The “over comers” – Faithful through life’s trials and sufferings.

  • His name will not be blotted out of the Book of Life.  (Exodus 32:32-33, Luke 10:17-20, Philippians 4:3)  Those who do not overcome will be blotted out of the book of life.  This proves a child of God can fall from grace and lose his salvation.  (Psalms 69:28, Revelation 21:27, Revelation 22:19)

  • “Confess his name” – Names will be acknowledged and given their reward, a crown of life.  (Luke 12:8-9)


How vital it is for us to be watchful because Satan can creep up on us if we let our guard down. 

Bobby Stafford

 More Sermons & Studies

Church of Christ Lessons on the Revelation of Jesus Christ

1.  Understanding Revelation
2.  Symbolic Objects in Revelation
3.  Understanding the Numerical Symbolism in Revelation
4.  Identifying the Opposition Characters in Revelation
John's Introduction to the Churches of Asia

6.  John's Vision of Jesus Christ
7. The Church who Left Her First Love, Ephesus
8.  Smyrna, the Suffering Church
9.  Pergamum, the church in Hell's Headquarter
10.  Thyatira, the church that Condoned Sin
11. Sardis (The Dead Church)
12. Philadelphia (The Church With Opportunity)
13.  Laodicea (The Lukewarm Church)

14.  Letter to Your Church
15.  John's Throne Vision (chapter 4)
16.  God the Redeemer Revealed  (chapter 5)
17.  God the Avenger of His Children (Chapter 6)
18.  Who Will Be Able To Stand  (Chapter 7)
19.  The First Four Trumpets
(Chapter 8)
20.  The Fifth Trumpet (Chapter 9:1-12)
21.  The Sixth Trumpet Announcement (Chapter 9:13-21)
22. The Little Book and the Unutterable Thunders (Rev 10)
23.  The Seventh Trumpet Announcement (Rev 11)
24. The Conflict (Revelation 12)
25.  Revelation 13 (Identification of the First Beast)

26.  Revelation 13 (Identification of the Second Beast)

27.  Chapter 14 (The Victorious Lamb and the Redeemed)
28.  Revelation 14 (The Turning Point)
29.  Revelation 14 (The Sickle and the Winepress)
30.  Chapter 15 (Comfort for the Saints)
31.  Chapter 16 (Bowls of Wrath)
32.  Chapter 16 (The Battle of Armageddon)
33.  Chapter 17 (The Scarlet Woman)
34.  Chapter 18 (Fallen  is Babylon)

35.  King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Chapter 19)
36.  The Fall of Satan  (Chapter 20)
37.  Heaven, the Home of the Soul  (Chapter 21)
38.  The Spirit and the Bride Say Come  (Chapter 22)
39.  The Dating of the Revelation

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Revelation 21:5-7

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.