Flatline Faith – Awake From Death
INTRO: A Survey of the Seven
Ephesus [like this church] was also dead, but Christ noted their service, their straight-forward theology, & their ability to point out error, but they had left their first love.
This always leads to a hard heart. The same sun that once melt the wax now hardens the clay.
Whereas Sardis is numb to the things of God – they have become dead and defiled.
Ephesus Christians like to tell everyone else to repent, but fail to see their own need. Sardis Christians don’t want to repent because they enjoy sin – they don’t want to cleanse their defiled garments.
A Poem that may apply: “I would like to buy three dollars worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk, or a snooze in the sunshine…I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy three dollars worth of God, please” (Wilbur Reese).
Read the entire passage on the screen – follow along – note what STANDS OUT.
Rev. 3:1, “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:
Isaiah 11:2, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”
Seven angelic beings.
Completion – the 7 churches may represent all facets of church experience.
1…“I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
“I know you exist but you’re dead. You have an add on FB, but you’re dead. You have a sign in front, you even started a school…You pack them in…Members show up when it’s convenient…You even serve at WCF, but…
You barely have a pulse – you need spiritual resuscitation.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.
Be Watchful and note [call out] what is ready to die.
And Strengthen what remains – lift your spiritual muscles.
How do you resurrect dead faith? A dying prayer life? Dry worship life? How do you become alive in Christ? 1st – do you truly know Him? 2nd . . .
Strengthen AND fight…In the Bible, watching is moving – not “watching” TV.
3…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. 4 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.
There is not time to prepare LATER – the time is now.
White is joy and purity – baptized, married, the hero – all in white.
5…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. 6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
Blot out of the book of Life. Can I lose my salvation excerpt:
We should never turn from what we know to be right. Jesus encouraged His followers to be watchful, prepared, and ready for His return. Are we watchful? Are we prepared? Are we ready? (Read Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 21:34.)
We all sin and fall short, but the important question to ask is what is the condition of your heart—have you truly repented and believed in Christ as your Lord and Savior, or are you trusting in false assurance?
A.W. Tozer said: “When people find that after being in the church for years they are not making much progress, they ought to examine themselves and wonder whether they have been truly converted.”
Jesus intercedes – “I will confess…I will intercede.”
What are you clothed in? – “he who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments.”
Clothed in humility, covered in prayer, put on the garments of praise, you’re washed in the blood –
Our worthiness is what we are dressed in – Christ’s righteousness.
AWAKE – Reflect the light – If an object does not emit its own light (which accounts for most objects in the world), it must reflect light in order to be seen.
~John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
~Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Most frustration comes when we try to manufacture light –
“But Shane – I’ve defiled my garments. Filth has polluted my mind!”
Return to the light! It leads us out of the darkness.
NOEL, NOEL [good news]…Come and see what God has done!
Isaiah 52:1-2 Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments.