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The Seven Cities and Seven Churches of Revelation: Sardis

Resources on the Seven Cities and Seven Churches of Revelation

The City of Sardis

Here are some websites and articles that give some information about the city of Sardis. You may need your MyValleyForge login information to access some of these articles.

Journal Articles

Where is Sardis?

Dr. Meyer's Sermon on Sardis


The Dying City

The Dying Church


Has Your External Reputation Overtaken Your Internal Reality?


“The Kirby Puckett Story”


I.  Looking at the Text: Revelation 3:1-6


                A.  Commission – v: 1

                        ·        To the Angel of the Church in Sardis

                B.  Character – v: 1

                        ·         His complete control of the Church

    C.  Commendation – v: 4

·         Hardly nothing.  “A few people.”

    D.  Condemnation – v: 1-2

·         I know your deeds…

·         You have a reputation of being alive but you are dead.         

    E.  Correction – v: 3-4

·         Remember the way you received

·         Remember the way you heard         

·         Repent – have a change of heart, turn from your sin

    F.  Challenge – v: 5

·         He who overcomes…

                G.  Call – v: 6

·         He who has an ear to hear…


II.  Looking At Practical Lessons


·         Ephesus:  Has Your First Love Become Your Last Priority?

·         Smyrna:  Has Your Greatest Fear Contaminated Your Genuine Goodness?

·         Pergamum:  Has Your Deceptive Behavior Contradicted Your Orthodox Doctrine?

·         Thyatira:  Has Your Consistent Progress Eroded Your Eventual Endurance?

·         Sardis:  Has Your External Reputation Overtaken Your Internal Reality?


Some Thoughts About Reputation


1.  What is It?

·         Reputation is what people think of us.  Character is what we really are.

·         Abraham Lincoln, “Character is like a tree and reputation is like a shadow.  The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”      

2.  How Important Is It?

·         Depends on who is asking and when it is being asked.

o   Today a teenager may resent a mother by describing her as mean but in a few short years that same mother will be described by that son/daughter with deep honor for caring so much.

o   Today a student may criticize a teacher for being tough but in time that same student will revere that same teacher and give him/her great honor.

o   Today, the athlete may dislike the tough coach but, when the team wins, the athlete views the coach as a hero.

·         What if you have a reputation for being dishonest, selfish, deceptive, uncaring, lazy, political… all you do will be perceived through that lens.

·         But if you have a good heart, integrity, Christ-likeness, a generous spirit, selflessness… all you do will be perceived through that lens.

·         In some ways, we don’t care what our reputation is, but in other ways our whole ministry/lives depend on it.

3.  How Is It Formed?

·         Listen to Thomas Merton in No Man Is An Island, page 194 (1955)

o   “Your idea of me is fabricated with materials you have borrowed from other people and from yourself.  What you think of me depends on what you think of yourself.  Perhaps you create your idea of me out of material that you would like to eliminate from your own idea of yourself.  Perhaps your idea of me is a reflection of what other people think of you.  Or perhaps what you think of me is simply what you think I think of you.”

4.  How Fragile Is It?

·         “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it.”  Benjamin Franklin

·         “A reputation for a thousand years may depend upon the conduct of a single moment.”  Ernest Bramah

·         “A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.”  Joseph Hall

·         “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”  George Washington

5.  Where is God in All of This?

·         How others view us…

·         How we view ourselves…

·         How God views us…


Some Practical Applications About Reputation


1.  Grow It

·         Reputation and progress – What am I doing to enhance it?

2.  Guard It

·         Reputation and danger – How I’m perceived and all I do matters.  Boundaries matter

3.  Grade It

·         What God sees.  What we see.  What others see.




1 Timothy

·         3:7 – Have a good reputation with outsiders

·         3:2 – Overseer must be above reproach

·         5:7 – Give people these instructions so that no one may be open to blame

·         6:4 – Keep this commandment without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord

A Few Final Thoughts

·         “I would rather win than have good sportsmanship.”  Allen Iverson

·         “It’s not what you are that counts; it’s what people think you are.”  JFK’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy


Has Your External Reputation Overtaken Your Internal Reality?


Revelation 3:1-6

To the Church in Sardis

 1"To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
      These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Think About It

The following articles were originally published in our local newspaper, The Phoenix.