The Spiritually Dead Church
Text: Rev. 3:1-6
Thesis: To prove that the Lord’s church is living, and
1. A Christian is to be dead to the world.
a. He is to be crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).
b. He is to die to the world and to be buried with Christ (Rom. 6:3-4).
c. He is to put off the old man (II Cor. 5:17).
2. A Christian is to be alive in Christ.
a. He is to live for Christ (Phi. 1:21).
b. He is a new creature (II Cor. 5:17).
c. He is risen with Christ (Rom. 6:4-5; Col. 3:1-2).
d. He is made alive in Christ (I Cor. 15:22).
3. Too many churches are dead today!
4. Christ addresses the church at Sardis (Rev. 3:1a).
a. Christ and the Holy Spirit are working together hand in hand.
b. “Seven Spirits of God” – represents the perfect Holy Spirit and His work.
c. “Seven stars” – the seven angels or preachers.
(1) This would seem to indicate that they are in Christ’s care, as He is head of the church.
(2) It may also represent the inner life of the churches.
5. The text will be examined as follows:
I. The condition of the church (Rev. 3:1-2).
A. “That thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead”
1. They had a reputation of being alive in the world, but dead to Christ.
a. Began with enthusiasm and zeal, but now was dying.
b. Spiritual inactivity, outward impression of love and piety.
2. The church was dying just like the city.
3. They had a form of godliness, but they were dead.
4. They appeared beautiful outwardly, but were within full of dead man’s bones, and of all uncleanness (Mat. 23:27).
5. They should have worn and lived by the name Christian (Acts 11:26; 26:28; I Pet. 4:16).
B. “Be watchful”
1. The city had been taken twice because of neglect and carelessness.
2. The church was in danger of the same thing happening to them at the hands of Satan.
C. “Strengthen the things that remain”
1. All was not lost, there was still some hope.
2. There was still a remnant of good things in the church at Sardis.
D. “I have not found thy works perfect before God”
1. Sardis was guilty of leaving her works uncompleted.
2. The church faltered because of its own inability to persevere.
II. The cure for the church (Rev. 3:3-4).
1. Brethren need to be reminded of the blessings of being a Christian (cf. II Pet. 3:1; Eph. 1:3).
2. This would also carry their minds back to the fact that the city had been twice taken because of neglect and pride.
3. They were called upon to remember how they had at first received the gospel.
B. Their only hope was to repent and revive the zeal and enthusiasm they once had.
C. They needed to be like the faithful few in the church (vs. 4).
1. One can’t be defiled and be faithful (cf. Rev. 21:27).
2. Only the living would walk!
a. They would walk with Christ in purity and holiness in a victory procession.
b. White was the special clothing of victory.
c. They were worthy of fellowship because of their pure character (cf. I John 1:7)
III. The comfort given to the faithful (Rev 3:5-6).
A. If they would overcome their hypocrisy and their pride, they could join the victory precession.
B. The faithful will be clothed with the white raiment of victory.
C. The faithful will have their names in the book of life.
1. The Jews had a national register that contained the names of all the Jews who were living at that time.
2. At death, their names were removed from the register.
3. Those who were spiritually dead had removed their own names from God’s register.
4. Those in the book of life will have a home in Heaven (Rev. 21:27b).
D. They had to confess God in their lives before Christ would confess their names in Heaven before God the Father.
1. The faithful ones had done this in word and in deed (Col. 3:17).
2. Those who will not are told by Christ Himself, “I never knew you (Mat. 7:23)!”
E. Hear these words (cf. Jam. 1:22).
1. A Christian is not a walking zombie.
2. Only Christ can raise the spiritually dead, because He is the source of life (John 4).
3. Only the living, those alive in Christ, will walk with Jesus and be clothed in victory.
4. Will you choose life?