Sardis: They Came Out

Life in Sardis was comfortable and self-indulgent.  Geographically the city existed on an acropolis 1500 feet above a valley floor.  It was literally impregnable from three sides: from four sides if the watchmen would stay alert to an approaching enemy.  But, because of their complacency and inattentiveness, Sardis was conquered twice.

The condition of the assembly at Sardis was desperate.  Christ gives no commendation to this church.  Outwardly, they had a semblance of life, but inwardly they were dead.  They had to be prodded and provoked to stay alert, to stabilize what they had before losing it, and to revive their memories of what it was like to receive and to obey God’s Word.  Immediate repentance and a radical change of mind were imperative.

Sardis represents the historical period of the church known as the Reformation.  For the thousand years known as the Dark Ages, the common people had been ravaged by a political and corrupt church.  The Scriptures were kept from the people as church leadership wielded power and privilege, resulting in to the devastation and deception of thousands.  Some had the courage to emerge from these difficult times: among these were Martin Luther in Germany, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin in Switzerland, John Knox in Scotland, and Roger Williams in America.  During the Reformation the printing press was also invented and people had incredible access to the world’s all-time best seller, the Bible.

Those who come out of this darkness, the overcomers, Christ will cloth in garments symbolic of purity, holiness, and celebration.  They will have the constant assurance of having their names eternally scribed in the Book of Life.  And they will know they are acknowledged by Jesus Christ before His Father, the Almighty God, and before His innumerable entourage of angels.     


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