He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Revelation 3:6 (NLT)
6 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
YOU KNOW YOUR CHURCH IS DYING A SLOW DEATH WHEN?
- No Open vision for the church
- People stop forgiving one another and start holding grudges
- People stop attending
- Living in the past glory of the church
- The offering is decreasing
- The excitement is going
- The lack of commitment and accountability
- The young people stop coming
- Arguing and division is everywhere
- All actions are inward with little or no outward mission
- No community focus or ministry/ No Evangelism
- Not seeking to reach the lost or those who have strayed away
- Not warm toward visitors
- A feeling of we only want people like us
Sardis was the capital of the Lydian Empire and was still an important city during the Roman Empire.
Sar’dis had become famous for their abilities in arts and crafts.
They made lavish use of the local brightly colored and semi-precious stones such as fire opal and banded agate.
The Sar’dians also had a process in which they used blue stone that they mined nearby.
Their jewelry was renown throughout the empire.
Some historians claim that Sardis was the first city to mint coinage using the precious metals; gold and silver.
The nearby mountains were dotted with gold mines thus making the city the monetary capital of the region.
The patron deity, named Cybele, was believed to possess the power and ability of restoring the dead back to life.
The Romans built a temple for the goddess Artemis and a large bath-gymnasium complex.
NOW WE NEED TO HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING TO THE CHURCH.
You can look alive on the outside but dead on the inside.
Matthew 23:27 (NLT2)
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.
HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING….
Revelation 3:1–3 (NLT)
“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead.
2 Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.
3 Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.
Revelation 3:5 (NLT)
All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.
Luke 10:20 (KJV)
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
More important than the disciples’ authority over spirits was their position as God’s children.
Their names were known to God and were written in God’s book.
This was the disciples’ greatest blessing.
The church must wake up and stop worrying about titles, positions, buildings, and know that our bodies are temples for the Holy Ghost and the greatest joy is having our names written in the Lambs book of life.
Paul asked the believers have you received the Holy Ghost.
If the church is filled with people with the Holy Ghost the thing in our church is that our names are not blotted out of the Book of Life.
2006 PAUL MOTON WROTE “NOT ME LORD!”
It was in Late August of 2005 Hurricane Katrine took both of Paul’s churches, his automobiles, his income, separated him from that which he loved singing and preaching.
It brought memories of the lost of his grandbaby, his nervous breakdown, and his cancer.
Song: Before I ever say one word
Lord, concentrate me
Before I ever sing a song
Lord, clean my heart
You have my permission to do
Whatever You need to do
Because I don’t want them to hear me
I want them to hear You, ohhhh
Not me, Lord, You