Number five of the seven churches of Asia Minor mentioned in the Book of Revelation had a reputation of being a pretty lively church. However, this was not the message given by the One who held the Seven Spirits of God:
I know all that you do and I know that you have a reputation for being really "alive," but you’re actually dead! 2 Wake up and strengthen all that remains before it dies, for I haven’t found your works to be perfect in the sight of my God. 3 So remember all the things you’ve received and heard, then turn back to God and obey them. For if you continue to slumber, I will come to you like a thief, and you’ll have no idea at what hour I will come. 4 Yet there are still a few in Sardis who have remained pure, and they will walk in fellowship with me in brilliant light] for they are worthy. 5 And the one who experiences victory will be dressed in white robes and I will never, no never erase your name from the Book of Life. I will acknowledge your name before my Father and his angels. Revelation 3:2-5 (TPT)
They were actually rebuked for their lack of spirit! If you dig deeper you find that in this church were many who were just "playing church", and others who had let their love for the Lord Jesus wax cold. There were however some in the church who had remained faithful to the Lord and He was going to dress them in white robes signifying their purity and devotion. What was so interesting was that all these groups co-existed in the same church!
How true that is today – when we were in church it was so evident that there were those who were on fire, anxious to please God by giving the best of their service. Then there were those who came late and rushed out early; it seemed as if coming to church was only a ritual, but nothing they were really in – to. Then there were those those who just seemed to be there – while they may know the gospel-ese, their lives were not reflective of a commitment to the Lord Jesus.
Yes, Sardis is a familiar church, with familiar groups of people. However, there was a strong message given to this church to repent! To wake upon from their slumber and have their lamps lit – for there was and is no determined time when the Lord would return. Oh church of America, heed the message to the church for Sardis – be that one who remains faithful and true to the Lord, ready to put on your white robe!