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Sardis: Wake Up!

Jason Malone - 10/1/2023


Scripture: Revelation 3:1-6

Sardis has a remarkable and storied history. It was built on a mountain and had this impressive acropolis that was, according to legend, impossible to invade and overrun. It was wealthy and had been wealthy for centuries due to its place as a center for woolen goods. It had a really large Jewish population. But what’s really interesting in all of this is that Sardis was a city that had peaked centuries before Jesus, through John, ever penned this letter to the church there. Sardis reached the apex of its political and military might in the 6th Century BC, and while it was still wealthy, it was a shell of its former glory. It was a significant city in the Roman province of Asia, but it wasn’t an unusually important one. It had once served as the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia and was vital to the Persian empire. Now it was just a pretty wealthy city with an impressive acropolis. You could walk the streets of Sardis and hear echoes of its former glory…but it was just a shadow of what it had been. And just like the city itself, the church at Sardis, while large and wealthy…was dead. Jesus calls them to wake up and remain faithful in their confession of Him in the world because He has promised to confess them as His own, both now and for eternity.


  • “Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches. The search for a ‘suitable’ church makes the man a critic where the Enemy (Jesus) wants him to be a pupil.” C.S. Lewis 

Revelation 3:1-6

  • Remain faithful in your confession of Me in the world because I have promised to confess you as My own both now and for eternity.


Matthew 24:42-44

  • “What place does Jesus occupy in my life?” Johnson

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32 

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8

  • The church in Sardis receives nothing positive from Jesus. Sardis was a well-known city, and this church has the appearance of being spiritually mature/alive, but they are actually dead.
  • The church is rebuked for its lack of witness and compromise.
  • The church receives a clear and compelling warning about spiritual activity with no spiritual vibrancy (life).

*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.