Reviving the Church – Part 5

Lets look at Revelation 3:1 to see the reason revival was needed at this time and even now in this time of the current church. Revelation 3:1“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” So the big reason for revival is they were dead… Hello! This is where I put the big DUH!
In a church that was on life-support, Jesus is saying that He is the one who holds all spiritual gifts and is therefore able to revive, recover, and restore the church from the brink of spiritual death.
I am a fan of the show parking wars. I came across this true story a few years ago and had to share it. In 1992, a LA County parking control officer came upon a brown El Dorado Cadillac illegally parked next to the curb on street-sweeping day. The officer dutifully wrote out a ticket. Ignoring the man seated at the driver’s wheel, the officer reached inside the open car window and placed the $30 citation on the dashboard. The driver of the car made no excuses. No argument ensued–and with good reason. The driver of the car had been shot in the head ten to twelve hours before but was sitting up, stiff as a board, slumped slightly forward, with blood on his face. He was dead. The officer, preoccupied with ticket-writing, was unaware of anything out of the ordinary. He got back in his car and drove away. Is it that we are missing the point here. Is it that we are so blind we miss that our churches are dying, or even dead?!?!
The church at Sardis looked good. On the outside like the Brown El Dorado Cadillac. The church at Sardis had a good reputation in the community, they may have done many great things, but like the police officer in the story, maybe they were too busy to see what was happening to them. Jesus tells them that He knows their deeds and that they have a great name, but their “character” does not match up with their reputation. Note the Church of the Character is an important thing to note here.
The church at Sardis was a church that because of the overall wealth may have had a nice place to meet; maybe things were well organized. Things must have looked good for this church to have such a good reputation. The problem was that Jesus said that in spite of the reputation, they were really dead!
Have you noticed that there are not too many things that are as well kept and organized as a cemetery? A place for everyone and everyone in their place. The problem with the cemetery is that there is no life in it. The church at Sardis was experiencing the same dilemma, looks nice, but little to no life inside.
The over all point here “Looking good on the outside is not good enough.”
Jesus during His ministry condemns the Pharisee’s for looking good on the outside, but being dead inside. This was a heart check. Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” Now it that doesn’t speak to you I don’t know what would. Powerful words.
Now what causes a church to die? There are many things that can cause a church to die, here are a couple to guard against. One Living in the past. Need I say more!
Two when the church gets more wrapped up in programs and buildings than people. Form is more important than substance. 2 Tim 3:5″ Having a form of godliness by denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
The next thing that will kill a church is when the church has no vision! When we do not plan for the future, when we do not have a vision for the way that things can be, we will die. This is a great heart check for church pastors and leadership.
This church was in need of a change, Jesus says they were dead, they needed some CPR. She you can’t change someone who is dead you can only breath life back into them and what is needed here is some CPR.
In His Grip,
Pastor J

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