The Church in Sardis
Rev 3:1 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.
Sardis was on an important trade route. The first coins made were made in Sardis. It was a place of ease and luxury. It was known for apathy and immorality. Even the pagans called it a place of self indulgence and decadence. The city was protected by steep cliff walls. Because the city had natural defenses, they were lazy about having watchmen. King Cyrus sent his soldiers up a hidden trail, scaling the cliffs in the night, they conquered the unguarded city.
Jesus described himself to this church as having the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars. Using the number seven as fullness; Jesus had the fullness of God's Spirit and was the head or fullness of the church.
Jesus knew their works, you have a name that you live, (perhaps, the church of life?) but you are dead. Churches may promote themselves as being the church where truth and light and miracles are, but in truth Jesus says, they are dead.
Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Rev 3:3 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.
Jesus speaks to an apathetic worldly church. Remember, you heard at one time and received, hold fast and repent; Jesus spoke this verse to Ephesus, which was stronger in faith:
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Jesus was not pleased with the works of the church in Sardis. They may have been meeting as a church, but they were an apathetic dead in Spirit church. He warned them that he would come suddenly as a thief. This was the rapture or the sudden judgment of God.
1 Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1 Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1 Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1 Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1 Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
Rev 3:4 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.
There was a remnant that had not defiled their garments; sexual sin, drunkenness, immoral living.
Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
A few, who call themselves his church in Sardis, shall be saved and clothed in white: for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5 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.
He that overcometh, who serve the Lord in truth, not indulging in sinful things, shall be clothed in white raiment and his name will not be blotted out of the book of life? Can names be blotted out? Some may think that their name is in the book, but they are not.
Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Rev 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.