Now we turn to the “So …” portion of the letter from Jesus to the church in Sardis. We know there are two groups of people. One is following Jesus. However, a much larger group is on the edge of being spiritually lost. Forever. Now we find out what Jesus has to say to these …
To the Church in Sardis
In Part 3 of The letter to the church in Sardis, we’ll look at the “But …” section. Things Jesus knows about the church. But unlike the Divine Knowledge of the previous section, this is not good news. Unfortunately for the church in Sardis, the bad news section is much worse than the good news in the Divine Knowledge portion of the letter.
In Part 2 of The letter to the church in Thyatira, we’ll look at the Divine Knowledge. The things Jesus knows about the church. Usually, this is good news for the receiving church. However, that’s not always the case. Jesus had some good news for this church. And yet, there was also a very large run of verses after the word “nevertheless”. We’ll find out more about what that means.
We move on to the fifth of the seven letters in Revelation. We’re on the home-stretch. This time the letter to the dead church in Sardis. Jesus has very little in the way of good things to say about the church in Sardis. And, of course, bad things. In this church, the examination will again be about the relationships between the good and bad statements. But this time, Jesus very clearly points out the differences to the church. And therefore, to us as well.
I doubt that a huge number of people today would refer to Christianity as counter-cultural. In fact, being in what’s called a post-Christian era, more people are likely to view Christianity as the old way – much like young people don’t use email, Facebook, and countless other “old” technologies.
The question is – why not? Christianity should be very much a counter-culture. The fact that it isn’t, I believe, is more related to how Christianity is practiced than it is to what Christianity is really about. I’m talking about the Christianity of Jesus – not the Christianity of man. Not the European model, where people are more into following The Force, as in Star Wars, or being a “none”. And not the Christianity of America, where the so-called prosperity Gospel seems to have more followers than anything close to what Jesus actually spoke about.
So as you read this, think about Jesus’ words in that counter-culture way. Maybe it’s not what you’re used to hearing. But they are, after all, His words. They aren’t the watered down or misinformed words that are spoken or written about by people who don’t even follow Jesus’ teaching themselves. Think the “yeast of the Pharisees” here.