Today the church in Sardis comes under the microscope. Perched on a 1000 ft cliff, this community was wealthy and thought themselves invincible, but were eventually conquered by Cyrus, and again 300 years later. There is a strong parallel to Edom in the prophecy of Obadiah; living among natural fortifications (cliff/canyon) and feeling prideful and, basically, untouchable (Obadiah 3-4).
The church at Sardis had the reputation of being alive, but were actually dead…quite a condemning judgement. They were prideful about where they lived and no doubt prideful in their reputation (that is just my personal opinion, but, generally, prideful people are prideful people, it’s not situation specific for most).
They are encouraged to go back to what they received and heard, namely, the Word of God. The swift unannounced coming of our Lord is when He raptures the church (more on that tomorrow), and, unless the church at Sardis wakes up and repents, they will not be a part of that glorious event, then will not be found worthy of our Lord (Genesis 5.24).
The church at Sardis – and us, the wider Christian community – are told that, simply, unless you repent of your pride, unless you turn your heart to the Lord God, unless you remember and put into action what you have been taught from the Word of God, then our names will not be found in the book of life.
In the Bible, then, two books are mentioned at the start of the two testaments, or covenants; the book of Adam in Genesis 5.1, and the book of Jesus in Matthew 1.1. In ancient culture, to blot someone’s name out of the city register was a permanent irreversible thing, it happened when people were certifiably, certifiably, unequivocally deceased.
As we progress through Revelation devotionally, we will see that there are strategic points on the way to eternity from which they are no turning back. So, when Jesus says He will never blot out our names, that He will confess our names before His Father, and that we will be found worthy, these are things of permanence, eternal significance, and from which they are no turning back.
Thought for today –