Focal passage: Revelation 3:1-6
In May 1980 the final eruption of Mount St. Helens took place, but it was not a sudden event. For almost two months before the eruption, warning signs indicated something major was about to happen. Unfortunately, many people did not heed the warnings from officials, and lives were lost as it became the most deadly and destructive eruption in American history. There was plenty of time to sound the alarm and, despite the seriousness of the threat, some chose to disregard the warnings.
Revelation 3 points us to our fifth church: the church in Sardis, where the people were found to have grown complacent. Sardis was a prosperous city situated on steep mountain cliffs that led the people to be overconfident in their protection from enemies (though they had been ransacked twice prior). Jesus did not address the church first with commendation like we have seen in earlier weeks, but rather spoke directly to the condition of this church, declaring that He knew their deeds and that they had “a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (v. 1).
The church was so consumed with what they had once done that they had grown to be complacent and dead. Like the city who was living in their past glory, the church had done the same. Jesus calls on them to be alert, to wake up as He sought to resuscitate this lifeless church. Jesus had expectations of this body of believers and it was time to wake up and get to work. The church needed to remember the salvation they had and to serve Him faithfully the rest of their days.
Like the church in Sardis, we as believers as well as the congregations that we are part of, have a dangerous opportunity to grow complacent in our faith and service to Christ. We have been warned that danger is lurking and we must not disregard the warnings.