Praise the Lord Jesus Christ
Let us start by reading this part of the scripture.
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
As we may know, in the first few chapters of revelation we see some epistles written by our LORD Jesus Christ. There are 7 epistles addressed to 7 churches. In these epistles the Lord speaks to each church and tells them something about their spiritual condition. It's like a sort of review on them. In this part the Lord speaks to the church in Sardis. That church is in a miserable state and they aren't even aware of it. The Lord wants to correct this and so he writes an epistle to them. Now the question is: What does this have anything to do with us? We are living in a different time period and in a different culture. Why has this epistle been recorded and given to us to read?
The answer is because we still believe in and worship the same Lord. We still have churches and the churches are still in varied spiritual condition. God is expecting a standard from His church. That is God desires that all members must have that standard. He is not happy with a church where some members are very spiritual and some others are name-sake Christians. Thus the Lord wants all churches to search themselves and find out what their shortcomings are and then correct that.
In the case of the church in Sardis, it was a church with a lot of members. They claimed and believed that they were a church that was alive in Christ. But the truth was that many in the church were actually dead. Our merciful Lord did not want to allow the church to stay in that condition. He wanted to change that. For, it was for them too that the Lord had offered Himself as a sacrifice. They were also among the people for whom the Lord was preparing a place in heaven. But if they had to inherit that place that He was preparing for them, they had to be alive.
To understand this better let us take an analogy. Let's take a person in coma state. There is life in him but there is no action. He just exists. In a similar manner, there is life in that church, in that they come together and worship but there is no works of faith, the is not works of the Holy Spirit, no miracles, no healing... no action in short. The Lord wants change all that and bring action into that church. Sometimes this may not be the condition of the whole church. There may be a few people who are active. But for God that is not enough. He wants every body in the church to be active. Let us think further about that analogy. How would the condition of his (the one in comma) family be? On the one hand, that person will be of no benefit to the family. On the other hand, the rest of his family would have to work had for keeping him alive as well as for its own sustenance. parallelly,when some of its members are inactive, the church will have to work hard to keep him with them and also to retain its existence as a church. At such times, the growth of the church takes a severe beating.
So you who are reading this article, is your church active? Is it alive? Is any of its members dead? You as an individual, are you alive or are you in a coma state? Remember that Satan is very pleased to have you in that state and wants you to stay thus. But out Lord does not wish to see you like that state. He wants to change you.
Let us read this section of the Bible.
Jdg 15:18, 19
And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?
But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.
Samson fears his death, in the hands of the uncircumcised because of thirst. Because of some need in life if you fall into the hands of the ungodly you could become spiritually dead. If we analyse the life of Samson we will find that he was not a man of prayer. He would pray only when there is a need. We need to have a "prevention is better than cure" kind of attitude. Secondly, when in need we also need to resort to prayer more than anything. Prayer is the solution to your problems. It will keep you alive.
Next in Act 20:9 we read about a young man who was sitting by the window while Paul was preaching. Let us analyse these verses little by little.
-- there sat in a window-- We have been chosen out of this world (Jhn 15:19). We are now the children of God and not children of the world. We thus should forsake the world and follow Christ. When we fail to do that and are standing somewhere in the middle of the world and Christ, we are sitting by the window. That is a dangerous place to be.
--being fallen into a deep sleep-- Sitting in the border, the world will lullaby us and slowly put us to sleep.
--he sunk down with sleep -- The word in the original that was translated as "sunk down" is "katapherō". This word also means "to pull down", "to bring down", "to cast down". After the world puts us to sleep it will slowly pull us down, bring us down and throw us down.
--and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.-- Thus will begin the fall. We will continue to fall until we crash to the floor and will then be found ...dead.
---And Paul ...fell on him, and embracing him ...his life is in him--- The "apostles" i.e out pastors play an important part in our spiritual life. They are supposed to be our spiritual guides. Is yours a spiritual guide to you and others in the church? Does he fall on and embrace the dead ones and bring them to life? If not try to get him replaced or if that is not possible change your church because you need a spiritual guide at any cost.
One of the main reason for our death then is failing to forsake the world.
So brothers and sisters, are we dead? Is someone we know in the church dead? Is the church dead? Its time to pray. Its time to make a revival. Its time to change, because our Lord wants all of us alive.