"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy." Revelation 3:4
What jumps out at you in this verse? As we go through our informal study of Jesus' Messages to the Seven Churches, it's important to really pay attention (though we've read the passage numerous times) to what the Spirit of God is saying. Don't fall asleep, folks! The part of this promise of the Lord that slaps me & shakes me up, is that in this whole church there were only A FEW who had not defiled themselves.
Let that sink in! Sardis was not some little store-front church with the Pastor, his family, a couple friends, and dissatisfied believers who left other churches. We didn't have 40 denominations back then: when He says "the church at Sardis", He means THE church--every believer in the city! And just a few of them were clean!
So what was up with the rest of them? Do you suppose they realized how filthy they were? Or did they think they were cleaner than everyone else? What about you? What about me? Am I the guy who checks himself out on the mirror, then goes & forgets what a mess he is?
When was the last time you heard a sermon about defiling yourself? Never mind what's on the Starbucks red cup, what's on you? What's that on me?
James tells us, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27) Are we doing this, or are we bringing the world right into our homes, our hearts, and even the Sanctuary of God? But what defiles?
In the thirteenth chapter of Hebrews, we are told, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." The Sexual Revolution hasn't reached Heaven, folks! Back in Hebrews 12:15-16, we are admonished to be "looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright..."
Remember the matter of Baal-Peor, when 23,000 fornicators died in one day? I'm not saying He's gonna, but what if, what if Jesus walked through His church decimating all the fornicators? Imagine! What are you selling your birthright for?
Besides fornication & bitterness, what else defiles us? It ain't our diet, Jesus taught, but, "those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; these are the things which defile a man..."
The profanity coming out of my mouth, Jesus? My evil thoughts that no one knows about but You? When Abraham pled with God for Sodom, the Lord told him, "If I find ten righteous there, I will not do it." How many did He find? 3 1/2???? We in America today, are we too lenient, too easy on ourselves? Do we turn the grace of God into lasciviousness? As the world lowers her standards of profanity & vulgarity, do we lower ours?
Jesus is looking for a church not having spot nor wrinkle, nor any such thing, but that it be holy and without blemish! (Ephesians 5: 27) In Sardis there were only a few like that. If you ain't nervous yet, ain't worried yet, I don't know what else to say to ya!
I wanna walk with Jesus in white! I don't wanna miss out on that! Let's work out our salvation with fear & trembling, 'cuz many are called, but few are chosen. We need to get outta Sardis like Lot & the girls got outta Sodom! No turnin' back, no turnin' back!
Next: Do You See What I See?
Peace, & God bless!