After the fall of the church reached its nadir with Thyatira, God began its restoration through Sardis. Just as the name Sardis means “set apart” or “renewed,” God called a remnant of the faithful out of the Catholic Church at the time of the Reformation to renew His church with them.
Despite this new beginning, Jesus must tell the church in Sardis, “You have the name that you live, and you are dead […] for I have not found your works finished before my God” (Revelation 3:1-2). What had happened? The church in Sardis had a good beginning, but at some point stopped and thus died spiritually. Even today, many Christians have a wonderful, living beginning with Jesus Christ. But with time, complacency, tradition and oldness come in. As a result, they no longer follow their Lord as they did in the beginning, and they stop spiritually, become weak, and eventually die.
The Word of God shows us that the rebirth of us Christians is only the beginning. After this initial salvation, God wants to bring us to maturity and complete us. If we are willing and cooperate, in the end we will be among the firstfruits who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4) and will be caught up by God to the heavenly Mount Zion. For this we need the attitude exemplified by the apostle Paul (read Philippians 3:12-14) and Jesus Christ as the one “who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars” (Revelation 3:1). The seven spirits of God show the abundant provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ to overcome all death and complete the church. The seven stars show that the messengers of the Lord must be in his hand at all times, because experience shows: If they fall, then the whole church falls.
May we all wake up, stand up, repent and watch so as not to miss the soon coming of our Lord and obtain the reward: To reign with Him as priests and kings for 1000 years (cf. Revelation 20:6)!