04/10/11 CPR in Progress!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Under: Sermon
The Letters to the Seven Churches Series - Sardis

Text: Revelation 3:1-6 (HCSB)

1 To the angel of the church in Sardi write: "The One who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says: I know your works; you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead. 2 Be alert and strengthen what remains, which is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before My God. 3 Remember therefore what you have received and heard; keep it, and repent. But if you are not alert, I will come like a thief, and you have no idea at what hour I will come against you. 4 But you have a few people in Sardis
who have not defiled their clothes, and they will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. 5 In the same way, the victor will be dressed in white clothes, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NLT)

Intro: CPR in progress! In the First Responders world when this statement is heard across the airway this is serious. This person who might be receiving CPR is in desperate need of resuscitation (recovery). Compressions are given to get the heart to beat and blood to flow again, to fill the lungs with air so the victim can breathe on their own. There is the possibility if hooked up to an EKG monitor this person could flat line, the responder could witness no response no vitals DOA! The church of Sardis needed CPR: Once again I say as I have been saying all along that these seven churches of Asia Minor represent the churches of today: there is several Sardis type churches in this world, are we this church? I hope not, Sardis needed CPR they were flat lined. The initials for CPR in this case: Christ Please Restore

Application: Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

Greek word: nikaō (overcomer)

1. KEEP ALERT! Vs. 1-2

1 To the angel of the church in Sardis write: “The One who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says: I know your works; you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead. 2 Be alert and strengthen what remains, which is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before My God.

Have you ever seen a church that was dead and dying, completely lifeless? A church that was satisfied with itself, with keeping things the way they had always been? A church resting on its success and past history that takes a lot of pleasure in what used to be? This was the church at Sardis. Sardis pictures the church that has an excellent reputation and is highly respected by the community, but it is dead and lifeless.

There is little hope for a dead church ever becoming alive unless the minister is set afire. There can be little awakening, little stirring, little quickening, little life within a church unless the minister is committed—totally committed—to Christ and His cause of eternal salvation. Revival is not likely unless the minister is first revived. Therefore, Christ speaks first of all to the minister.

A Lifeless and dying church needs the Spirit of God:

- A lifeless and dying church needs to seek the convicting power of the Spirit.
- A lifeless and dying church needs to seek the fruit of the Spirit. 
- A lifeless and dying church needs to seek revival, the Pentecostal fire of the Spirit.
- A lifeless and dying church needs to seek the witnessing power of the Spirit.

The sin in this church is one of the most serious problems that a church can have. What was the problem? It was a dying church, a lifeless church. The church had works—all sorts of programs, ministries, and activities. Such an active church can seldom be convinced that it is dead and lifeless because of its bustling activity. But Jesus Christ says it is dead. It is void of spiritual life and energy, void of the Spirit of God. Its works are only activities, only man-made activities and social services. The works do not have the Spirit of God and His power in them.

What was wrong was the spirit of the people. Their spirits were not focusing upon Jesus Christ and His cause. They were...sitting in the services half asleep and allowing their thoughts to wander about instead of hungering for the Word of God. Holding and attending the activities for the sake of fellowship and because it was the thing to do. On and on the list could go. The people were not alive, not spiritually, not to the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NLT) “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.”

“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17 (NLT)

2. KEEP in MIND! Vs. 3

“Remember therefore what you have received and heard; keep it, and repent. But if you are not alert, I will come like a thief, and you have no idea at what hour I will come against you.”

The believers of a dead, lifeless church are warned:

1. They must remember how they received and heard the gospel;
2. They must arouse and awaken and hold fast to the original spirit that gripped their lives.
3. They must know that the judgment of Christ will fall upon them if they refuse to repent, and it will fall unexpectedly. If the church and its believers refuse to watch—refuse to arouse themselves—then Christ will come upon them as a thief. The church and its believers will be worthless, of no value or worth to Christ and His kingdom. No matter what the church and its members may think, they will be found vain, empty, and useless. They will have done no good whatsoever for the kingdom of God. Their profession will have been meaningless.

13 Each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 (HCSB)

3. KEEP standing! Vs. 4-6

4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not defiled their clothes, and they will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. 5 In the same way, the victor will be dressed in white clothes, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

Thank the Lord there were a few faithful believers in the church. They had not defiled, dirtied, or spotted their lives with the worldliness of the day. They had kept themselves "unspotted from the world".

They were not activity centered or program centered, but Christ centered.

The overcomer will be clothed in white. This is the garment of righteousness and purity, of perfection that shall be given to the believer when he enters heaven. The overcomer will not be blotted out of the book of life. The overcomer will be acknowledged by Christ before God. Christ will confess that He knows the believer who overcame by keeping his spirit alive and focused upon the Lord.

32 Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33 (HCSB)

Conclusion: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" Acts 1:8 (KJV)

Do you believe in that scripture? Do we have a pulse or do we need CPR? Are we the church of Sardis? For if we are we must repent and start staying Alert to the dangers of compromise and corruption, keep in mind the ways of Christ and stand through the storms of life!

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