Vs. 1, “…you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” Sardis was a dying church. But, even in a dying church there were still a few who remained faithful. Vs. 5 has been a controversial passage in which some people like to use this verse to support the fact that a Christian can lose their salvation. However, this book of life has all the names born in it…but those who turn to the Lord have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life and those who do not have their names blotted out of the original book of life. I know it’s confusing but take a look at Revelations 13:8, 20:12, 20:15, 21:27.
Ahhh…the city of brotherly love. It was a smaller church and here we see Jesus doesn’t have words of rebuke, but rather words of encouragement. We see that though they were small, they were faithful! Small churches have their places in this world =) Vs. 10, “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” This is one of the strongest passages to support the fact that we will be raptured (taken to Heaven) before the 7 years of tribulation!
This was the wealthiest church of the seven. When I think of the churches today…I can’t help but see the churches in the United States represent the modern day Laodicea. In fact the word Laodicea means “The rule of the people”. Perhaps they were a church who no longer followed the spiritual leaders, but rather tried to rule on their own. Vs. 15, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other.” A well known passage to stop our complacency…but also a note to remember that “Hot” & “Cold” are both good connotations by our Lord Jesus. Jesus isn’t saying He would rather see us with cold hearts. The “cold” here would be like a refreshing cold spring or glass of water.
Regarding application…Which church do we represent? Upon completion of the seven churches….We must be open & honest before our Lord and see what diagnosis is needed for our church…for our individual lives. None of us are beyond rebuke or admonishment. Let us not forget our first love (Ephesus) and become lukewarm (Laodicea) churches. While vs. 20 is used for many evangelistic messages…this really is a message for the body of Christ. Jesus wants to fellowship with his church…are we inviting Him in? Are you inviting Him in your QT’s?