Revival - Producing Commands to the Local Church

If we can learn anything from the first-century churches of Asia Minor, it is the tendency of Christians and churches toward decline. As you read Revelation 2-3, you see churches that were started in the days of the apostles already seeing sharp spiritual decline in that first generation. But if there is one other thing we can learn from these churches, it is that Christ cares about the condition of the church and that he desires to revive His church. Notice these instructions the Lord gave to the church at Sardis through the Apostle John:


Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. Revelation 3:2-3


These are words of hope. They speak of God’s willingness to revive Christians and local churches that were once vibrant in their faith but are now faltering in their love and loyalty for Christ. To the church at Sardis, Christ laid out the path to spiritual restoration in five specific commands that would bring revival:


BE WATCHFUL

In other words, “Wake up!” Confront sin and indifference. Refuse to say, “It’s okay” when it comes to sin.

“But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, Ephesian 5:13-15


STRENGTHEN THE THINGS THAT REMAIN

Fan the flame of the dying embers. Awaken the spiritual graces within.

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”Psalm 42:1-2


REMEMBER

Remember what you knew about Christ, what you were previously taught.

What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.” Galatians 4:15

But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. Jude 17 & 18


HOLD FAST

Don’t let these truths slip from your heart. Keep those truths were once precious to you.

“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21


REPENT

Turn back to the place where you once were.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9


The spiritual decay in Sardis was so far advanced that the Lord said,

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Revelation 3:1


Do you long for revival in your life? The path given to the church in Sardis is still available. Our God delights in reviving the spiritual life that He put in us. Will you let Him do it in you?


In His Grace,

Phil Taylor

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