The name, Sardis, means, “The Red Ones.” The name refers to the Sard, a small, red gemstone found in abundace in the fields around Sardis. The Sardisians had become very prosperous making inexpensive costume jewelry from the Sard.
Rev 3:1-6 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. (2) Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. (3) Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (4) 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. (5) He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (6) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
This is the most serious rebuke for any church to which he is yet working within the congregation. Jesus tells them that they only have few among their number that have not defiled their garments. The garments to which He refers is their Wedding Garments, given to them by the Father of the Groom.
Rev 19:7-8 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Since faith is counted for righteousness and fine linen is the righteousness of the saints, it follows that the wedding garment given by the father of the groom reprents the righteousness of the saints. This is why in parable of the wedding feast the one wearing no wedding garment was cast into outer darkness. (Matt. 22:11-13) It does not matter how they have the name that lives, it only matters that they have no faith. Neither does it make a difference how hard they have worked to make themselves righteous because whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Rom. 14:23)
The Nicolaitans (see the pages on the churches in Ephesis and Pergamum about the Nicolaitans) have taken over most, if not all, of the churches in Protestanism today. Nearly every facet of church life being determined by a Majority vote. Even the most basic of Biblical understandings is decided by majority vote among delegates, at yearly conventions, synods, etc. Hardly any church conducts itself along Biblical Principles today. Jesus still hates it even though the majority aproves of it. Anytime, anywhere a church doctrine is decided by the Majority and not by the Word of God, Jesus Hates both the vote and the result.
To be found wearing a defiled wedding garment means that their faith has been fouled by mixing it with something other than faith in Jeuse alone. Many of the most humanist persuasions today have made the statement that it does not matterwhat one believes as long as they believe somthing. I had a Catholic friend in the Navy who would say, when someone told him that, “I believe I’ll have another beer.” He was not trying to be amuzing. He was trying to show them absurdity of their belief.
Eph 4:4-5 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
“He that overcometh....” 1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (5) Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
The church at Sardis was much the same as the jewelry the city produced, sparkley showey but of not much value. The Protestant church is still the mixture that Jesus refered to in Pergamum, but many are already becoming like the church in Sardis.
The Power to Love
1 Pet. 4:8-9 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall
cover the multitude of sins. (9) Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
Rom. 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath
fulfilled the law.
John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Isa. 45:22-23
1 Cor. 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
1 Cor. 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.