CHRIST SPEAKS TO THE CHURCH IN SARDIS REVELATION 3:1-6 FB-PC 6-30-13 AM
CITY - SARDIS
The capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia. It was situated in a plain watered by the river Pactolus. The city was of very ancient origin. Herodotus (i., 84) gives the account of its siege and capture by Cyrus, and of its previous fortification by an old king, Meles. It was ruled by a series of able princes, the last of whom was Croesus, celebrated for his wealth and his misfortunes. In the earlier part of his reign he extended his dominion over the whole of Asia Minor, with the exception of Lycia and Cilicia. The Lydian rule was terminated by the conquest of Cyrus. From the Persians it passed into the hands of Alexander the Great, after which, for the next three hundred years, its fortunes are obscure. In b.c. 214 it was taken and sacked by Antiochus the Great after a siege of two years. The kings of Pergamus next succeeded to the dominion, and from them it passed into the hands of the Romans.
In the time of Tiberius it was desolated by an earthquake, together with eleven or twelve other important cities of Asia, and the calamity was increased by a pestilence. Sardis was in very early times an important commercial city. Pliny says that the art of dyeing wool was invented there, and it was the entrepôt of the dyed woolen manufacture, carpets, etc., the raw material for which was furnished by the flocks of Phrygia. It was also the place where the metal electrum was procured. Gold was found in the bed of the Pactolus. Silver and gold coins are said to have been first minted there, and it was at one time known as a slave-mart. The impure worship of the goddess Cybele was celebrated there, and the massive ruins of her temple are still to be seen. The city is now a heap of ruins. (Vincent Word Studies)
…When, and by whom this church was founded, and who was the present angel or pastor of it, is not now to be certainly known; however, here was a church in the "second" century, of which Melito was then pastor; and he is thought by some to be the angel here intended; this man wrote upon the book of the Revelation, and an apology for the Christians, sent to the Emperor Antoninus Verus, in whose time he lived.
CHURCH PERIOD - SARDIS
… represents the state of the church from the time of the Reformation by Luther and others, 1511-1650… that this church is an emblem of the reformed churches of the Protestant movement from Papal rule, is evident not only from its following the Thyatirian state, which expresses the darkness of Popery, and the depths of Satan in it; but from its being clear of Balaam, and those that held his doctrine; and from the Nicolaitans and their tenets, and from Jezebel, and those that committed adultery with her; things which the two former churches are charged with; but from these the present church reformed. This city of Sardis was once a very flourishing and opulent city; it was the metropolis of Lydia, and the royal seat of the rich King Croesus – edited from John Gill It was the time of “A Scattered Few” – Martin Luther, John Knox, John Calvin, Hans Swingli, John Tydale, John Huss, Erasmus, Savonarola – every century has had a few who stood firm for God against the tide of popular opinion. “A church is in danger of death when it begins to worship its own past…when it is more concerned with forms than with life…when it loves system more than it loves Jesus Christ.” - copied
CHRIST IS SEEN – 3:1a as the One Who has the Seven-fold Spirit of God (Holy Spirit Isa. 11:1-5; Rev. 5:6) and holding the seven stars (pastors of the seven churches Rev. 1:20; 2:1).
COMMENDATION vs.1b, 4 You have a few…who have not defiled themselves – Dan. 1:8
REBUKE vs.1c You are dead, your works are not perfect; I’ll destroy you if you don’t repent and wise up. Satan causes deadness. He loves death
CALL TO REPENT vs. 2, 3
2. Strengthen what is left
3. Remember what you have received…
4. Hold fast to the truth
COMMAND vs. 6 Hear
PROMISE to OVERCOMERS vs. 4b-5
1. Clothed in white
2. Walk in white; White = fidelity of character, righteousness
3. Name is kept in the Book of Life
4. Confessed by Christ to the Father
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