Sermon on March 12 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Revelation 3:1-6
A dead church is a contradiction. How can those who are spiritually alive stay spiritually alert (Rom 13:11, Eph. 5:24)?
If we would stay awake, ask:
1. DO WE AIM FOR REALITY, NOT REPUTATION? (v1)
When it is spiritually cosy, when there is no or little persecution it is easy to lose the gospel and its dynamic power.
‘What is it at your church (IBC Brussels or any other) that cannot be explained in human terms?’
2. DO WE LIVE ON OUR KNEES, NOT OUR BACKS? (v2-3)
- Wake up
The longer we walk with Christ, the greater the danger to get drowsy.
“…The enemy thinks: ‘When will these fools want to sit down? It is at the end of their journey they are weary of all the fightings and struggles.”
(The Pilgrim’s Progress : John Bunyan)
- Firm up
There will never be a better time or perfect circumstances to love Jesus more and serve others more.
- Think back
Drowsy Christians forget and forget much! If we remembered the love of Christ 10 or even 100 times, it would still be too little.
- Stand up
The problem at Sardis was not that they needed more knowledge. Are you fully obeying what you already know to stay alert?
- Turn around
A church that thinks she no longer needs to repent stops growing.
‘To do so no more (ie turn away from sin) is the greatest repentance’.
3. DO WE BELONG TO THE MANY, OR THE FEW? (v4-6)
- True purity There are no grey clothes in heaven. No-one is in heaven who was not preparing for in on earth.
- Real security Those who belong to Jesus will never slip out of the book of life. If saved, always saved!
- Sincere identity If you love Christ, you will overcome – because Jesus has overcome for you.
Remember! The times are urgent. The task is great. The enemy is real. Are you awake, alert and giving your all for Christ?
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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- Why did the church at Sardis become cosy and complacent? How did the city of Sardis influence them? What is the warning for us? How can a church have both a good reputation and yet not lose the offensiveness of the gospel?
- Is it possible to become sleepy in the Christian life? (see Rom. 13:11; Eph. 5:24 ; 1 Thess. 5:6). When might that happen? What are the five imperatives that Jesus gives as the antidote to staying awake?
- A church is no greater than the spiritual condition of those who identify with her. Think back, or if you were not here listen to the messages of the four previous churches we have considered: Ephesus (correct but cold), Smyrna (faithful to the end), Pergamum (sitting on the fence), Thyatira (toying with tolerance). Be honest and evaluate what needs to change in your own spiritual life for revival to happen.
- Pray that as a church family we might not grow lazy or complacent but grow in our passion for Christ and devotion to His kingdom.