Seven Letters to the Church: Revelation 3:1-5

Written by admin on Jan 31, 2021 in - No Comments

Adam continues our series “7 Letters to the Church” from the book of Revelation. The Church at Sardis had a reputation for being alive, but it was actually dead. In this sermon, Adam talks about the difference between having church and being church, and he offers some helpful historical context for Jesus’ promise to those who overcome.

Sermon Discussion Questions

1)      In each of the letters to the seven churches, Jesus 1) commends them for what they’re doing well, 2) challenges them to change the ways they’re not reflecting God, and 3) leaves a promise for everyone who listens, obeys, and overcomes. What would be missing if any one of these components were not included in each letter? Is there anything we can learn from Jesus’ way of encouraging and confronting the churches?

2)      In his sermon, Adam remarked that Sardis settled for having church without being the church. To your mind, what is the difference? Can you name characteristics/evidence of a church that is alive and a church that, though functioning, is essentially dead? How can we discern if we as individuals are alive in our faith, or are bearing the identity of a Christian in a hollow fashion?

3)      The well-fortified city of Sardis was twice laid siege because it was overconfident about its impenetrability and became inattentive to possible breaches. How might the church at Sardis have heard Jesus’ words in light of their city’s history, and what do you have to learn from the City of Sardis when it comes to your own faith?

4)      People wearing soiled clothing were not permitted to enter pagan temples, but Jesus promises that those who overcome will be clothed in white. Residents of ancient Rome had their names erased from the city register (the Book of the Living), when they died or if they were a criminal, but Jesus promised that, for the one who is victorious, he will never blot out their name from the Book of Life. Where do you find personal encouragement in these image-rich promises?

5)      Take a moment to prayerfully consider how Jesus’ words to the Church at Sardis might be speaking to you. Is there an area of your walk about which Jesus might be whispering, “Wake up”? Is there a particular encouragement he wants to give you as you receive the promise of being clothed in white or having your name forever written in the Book of Life?