“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. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 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. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
The city of Sardis had a history of considering its position as untouchable. It was a well protected city because of geography and terrain. Because of its position it could be easily defended and required very little man power. Croesus was King of Sardis from 560-547 BC. He sought to defeat the Persian Army at one point. To do so He had to cross the Halys River. Croesus believed victory was His because of what he considered prophecy that if he pursued this battle that a great empire would fall. He was correct however, the empire that fell kind of missed his mark. Cyrus was King of Persia at the time and during this battle between Sardis and Persia Creosus was forced to retreat back to Sardis. Some say it was because of defeat others say it was because of tradition to cease battle during winter. Either way Cyrus did not retreat and was determined to defeat the Sardian army, he continued in pursuit and seized the city of Sardis. Remember the city was high and not very easy to overtake. The Persian army had not taken the city, they simply had it surrounded. Croesus in his pride was not worried about the Persians. They would lose to much trying to overtake the city. Cyrus offered a large reward for anyone that would offer a plan to attack the city. A Persian soldier witnessed a Sardian soldier walking atop the wall of the city. He dropped his helmet on the outside of the city. He observed the soldier climb down from the wall city side some how come through the wall and get his helmet and then reappeared atop the wall. Obviously there was a breach in the wall. That night a group of persian soldiers went through the breach in the wall and opened the gates to the city of Sardis. They were uncontested. The pride of the city of Sardis in reference to there position was so great that they did not even have a night watch. The Persian army easily defeated Sardis as they lie sleeping. Almost a century later under the rule of Antiochus the same thing happened, the security and pride of their position caused the city to be overthrown. With that history lesson we must pay close attention to the message that Jesus has for this church in verse 2, be watchful and strengthen the things that remain. In verse 3 if you will not watch I will come upon you like a thief in the night. I am afraid that so many churches and so many christians fall into this category. They have allowed there position and their pride to keep them from standing guard. They are not watchful for the enemy. They feel as if they have everything under control. They actually feel like they are controlling their sin. Instead of repairing the breach in the wall they actually pass through it at will passing from inside the city to outside the city, passing from righteousness to the danger zone. Passing through the breach becoming very visible to the enemy and allowing attack. They are foolish and inattentive to what the Word of God says. They have no idea their sin cannot be controlled. Oh they may fool themselves by looking only at their own lives and failing miserably to look at the lives of those around them. Only time will reveal the destructive results of their failure to address sin in there life and truly live for Jesus. It is hard to tell them, well I take that back, it is easy to tell them, it is hard for them to listen. What about you, are you listening? Are you standing guard? Are you watchful? Are you strengthening the things that remain? Are your convictions repairing every breach? You know sadly the pride of Croesus effected the entire city. Many soldiers died. many wives and children died and were taken captive. Who is effected by your failure to stand guard? Who is effected by the sin in your life? Just You? NOT HARDLY! Read all of these verses, see what awaits. We can walk in white garments or we can be destroyed?
Brother Big Daddy