Revelation 3:1-6, Sardis, Part 2

B. The Gospel locally applied

1. External ministry with no Gospel implication (social gospel, which is no gospel,

see Jimmy Carter)

2. Evangelism

a. 33% of the population in America claims to be unchurched.

1. If the unchurched in the USA were to be a country, it would

be the 11th largest country in the world

2. By 2050 65% of SBC churches will no longer exist and not be

replaced

3. In 8 years GA / SE will out population California

a. To keep up there is an estimated 59,123 new churches

needed

4. Last year 2.5 million dollars was how much less folks gave

among FCBA churches

 

b. Gospel + Culture + Church = Good Evangelism

1. Culture + Church – Gospel = Liberalism

2. Church + Gospel – Culture = Fundamentalism

 

c. Needs?

1. Clear understanding of and articulation of the Gospel

2. People to tell the good news to other people / bring them

to church

3. Spiritual vitality that is infectious (Holy Spirit awareness)

a. Beware of your thoughts

 

C. The Gospel globally applied

1. Local existence is only part of the Gospel mandate

a. The local is the home base for Gospel expansion

2. There 6,872 UPG’s and many more churches

b. What if each church found partners to help reach 1 UPG?

3. Each local member giving and praying for the local church’s UPG

4. Each denomination’s leadership overhauling it’s financial structure to release

more resources to the Great Commission

 

3. If the church does not wake it will have its lampstand removed v. 3

 

Our spiritual influence does not have much to do with our efforts to reach people. Our vitality is tied to our personal and corporate love of and obedience to Jesus and his mission.

 

 

Matthew 19:30, 20:16 Jesus says the last will be first and the first will be last.

 

I’m reminded of stories I’m reading about the revival going on in Haiti. Gatherings of 50K people. A church of 3K homeless people pastored by a man who refuses to live in his home to live with the people who just take up residence in the park.

 

A worship gathering with these folks in which a 12 year old boy leads the worship with command and an amazing voice.

 

This pastor, who meets with his church of 3K homeless people in a tent like shelter that was destroyed by a storm refusing to accept help from some very well meaning pastors because he believes the Lord wants them to use their resources to repair the structure to show the power of God to use the least to get work done.

 

We would call them last on the developed country list from the earthquake devastation, but it seems they are first on the spiritual list.

 

A. Could it be that the lack of spiritual movement is that our lampstand’s flame is burning

weakly?

B. Could it be that our job might be to keep the faith in a dark and lifeless place until the Lord

returns with no revival?

 

4. The faithful walk with Jesus as holy and exultant people v. 4-5

Rev 19:7-8

 

5. The one who does not overcome by / with / for the Gospel is blotted out of the book of life.

“For the concept of erasing a name from the book of life see Ex. 32:32, where the thought is of a register of citizens. In Dn. 12:1, Lk. 10:20, Phil. 4:3 and in this passage it symbolizes a register of the citizens of the kingdom of God. The Lord’s confession of the overcomer echoes Mt. 10:32, ‘I will also acknowledge him before my Father’.”[1]

 

Verse 5 has bothered people, for it seems to suggest that unfaithful Christians will have their names taken out of the book of life. The “book of life” contains the names of all those who are born. Those who reject Christ have their names blotted out of the book, for they are dead. True believers have their names recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life (13:8; 21:27). Those who do not have their names in the latter book of life will go to hell (20:15). A person may have his or her name on a church roll, but not be saved. What surprises there will be when “the books are opened”! (20:12) Churches today can have “living” names and yet be dead.[2]


[1] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Re 3:1–6.

[2] Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1997), 804.

 

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