3-22-24: Zombies In The Church

I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive,
but you are dead.
” Revelation 3:1

We come to two familiar words in the Lord’s letters to the seven churches. In this case the words which have brought comfort to other churches bring terror to this one for they are the words of condemnation. The Lord’s knowledge are not attached to a commendation but to a condemnation.
I know The Lord’s knowledge is complete and it is just. He does
not placate people and tell them they are doing well when they are not. His ministry on earth was truth and it brought the anger of the world and false religion. What reaction would He get from the dead church at Sardis?
Your works Note that even in the dead church there are works –
bake sales, community yard sales, feed the homeless campaigns,
scout meetings in the basement, there are plenty of deeds in the church.
That you have a name The Lord’s comment is pointed. Name means character or reputation. It is the manifestation or revelation of one’s character that distinguishes them from all others. This church proclaimed by their name that they were something that they were not. They boasted in their reputation. While they fooled the world around them, the Lord saw the hypocrisy between what they claimed to be and what they were.
That you are alive What was the name, the reputation, they claimed? The proclaimed publicly that they demonstrated the life that comes only from knowing Christ. The Greek word life used here is the word that Peter used when he proclaimed to Christ that “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. It is the word the Lord used with the woman at the well when He told her He would give her “living water”. This life is found only in Christ but it was not in Sardis.
John McArthur makes an interesting observation about Sardis. He says that Sardis had a complex of pagan religions which were heavy into the healing power of the gods. Sardis emphasized these idols had the ability to restore life. Two miles outside of Sardis, there was a hot springs, and the people believed that the hot springs was where their gods manifested this life-giving power. And so these people went out to the hot springs to get life.” Of course these springs could not deliver on that promise but neither could the church at Sardis.
But you are dead The Greek word means lifeless. It refers to something that is not able to respond to impulses, or perform
functions (ineffective, dead or powerless) and that is inoperative to the things of God. The word was first used by the Lord in Matthew 8:22 when He said to let “the dead bury their dead”. His word makes clear that there are those who are alive physically but are dead spiritually. How did God see the church at Sardis? There were dead men standing in the pulpitand sitting in the pews. Dead people gave out food at the food kitchens and other ministries. Deadness in scripture
always is linked to sin. In Colossians 2:13 Paul says “You were dead in your transgressions”.
What can we learn? We find a church at Sardis that carries the name of Christ yet it is filled with unredeemed, unregenerate people playing church. They have a name that they are alive, but they are spiritually
dead. This church will soon be empty but for a few people. There is no life, What the church promises cannot be delivered for sin of self-righteousness is in control not the living Savior.