Sardis was a wealthy city in the kingdom Lydia situated on a major trade route.
Main Temple was that of Artimes also known as Diana, a goddess of fertility and moon.
In this letter Lord Jesus never mentioned persecution, false doctrine or any compromise.
One scholar puts this way that “This church was just comfortable, content, coasting, and living off its good reputation. The church had reputation without reality”
Sardis might have a great reputation for its ministry and service.
The Lord was seeing this church living in its past glory and declaring them to be dead.
One scholar describes that when Lord Jesus took the pulse of the church, HE could not find a strong pulse but a feeble one.
Scholars conclude that Sardis was a ‘cold church’.
Churches that are still living in the past glory are spiritually dead in the present.
What is that leads to spiritual coldness?
It all begins with the thinking that they are believers but they are not.
They think they are saved and really act like saved people.
They never tasted the joy of salvation in their hearts to begin with.
The Lord says to such unbelievers in the church unless you repent you are going to die spiritually.
Lord is telling them that you may be doing everything right in the sight of the world but I see them incomplete without salvation.
In verse 3 the Lord reminds them of the first Gospel message they heard.
He says still there is time for them to repent and accept the Gospel.
In this verse He is not referring to the born again Christians repenting for sins committed after receiving salvation.
But the Lord is addressing those who never repented for their sins after hearing the Gospel.
He says to them that He is going to come back when it is going to be too late.
The rapture as HE comes for the church and believers.
4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with ME (Jesus), dressed in white, for they are worthy.
The Lords finds few believers in the midst of spiritually dead people.
These people will walk with the LORD in the Kingdom to come.
They will be dressed in white garments.
White garments describe the purity and sinless condition.
Remember that no unrepented sinner can enter into heaven.
They are also considered worthy for their souls were washed in the blood of the Lamb.
Verse 5 the Lord is talking about those believers, who are dressed in white, their names will never be blotted out of the ‘Book of Life’.
We are looking at two books one the Book of the Living and the other the Book of Life.
The Book of the Living contains the names of all the people who are alive on Planet Earth.
When a person dies, his/her name will be removed permanently from this book.
This book is nothing to do with the Book of Life.
In this verse Lord Jesus was talking about the ‘Book of Life’.
Only true believers who washed their souls in the blood of the Lamb will find their names written in the Book of Life.
So this book is also called ‘The Lamb’s Book of Life’.
Once truly saved will never be blotted out of the ‘Book of Life’.
Once truly born again in the Lord will never be unborn’.
The Lord gives that person a new name and HE will acknowledge him/her before God.
The important criterion for this eligibility is that person’s soul must be washed in the blood of the Lamb and declared a forgiven sinner.
A true believer’s name will never be blotted out of the Book of Life.
Once written in the Book of Life, the name cannot and will not be erased.
So the question is who is a true and genuine believer and who is not.
Church people like Sardis thought that they were saved but were cold and dead spiritually.
Their names were never written in the Book of Life to begin with.
“The one who is victorious” is referred to the faithful few in that Church whose names will never be blotted out.
Are we sure that our hearts are washed in the precious blood of the Lord?
Do we confidently and courageously say that we are forgiven sinners?
Do we have any shred of doubt in our heart?
Why it is so important that our names should be written in the ‘Book of Life’?
Because at the ‘White Throne’ judgment, all those whose names are not in the ‘Book of Life’ will be condemned to eternal lake of fire what we call as HELL’.
Knowing that our names are written in the Book of Life is the most precious thought and assurance we all must have.
Our life on earth will have new purpose and meaning as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.