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Princess Bride

Has anyone here ever watched the princess bride. It is by far won of the best movies/stories ever. It is based off of a book, and the author of the book also wrote the screen play.
I do not promote much by the way of movies and what not but I highly recommend this movie if you ever get the chance. It has pirates, sword fighting, a giant, and even a story of true love for the girls of course.
I don’t want to say too much in case there is someone who has yet to watch it but there is one scene where the protagonist is “dead” so the supporting leads take him to see a man by the name of Miracle Max.
While visiting Miracle Max, Max teaches us a very important lesson about life and death.
I would like to show you this clip now....
I do so enjoy this movie, but the part I wanted you to hear was when Max explained the difference between all dead and mostly dead.
See there is a big difference between all dead and mostly dead. And that is an important distinction that needs to be made if we are going to look at the next letter found in Revelation 2-3.
The next letter we are going to look at was written to the church in Sardis.
Before we read there are some things you should know about the city od Sardis.
It was a hub city. It sat at the junction of five roads. This made Sardis a strong commercial city with great wealth, as it had lots of traffic and commerce.
It overlooked the Hermus valley, one such geographical feature that made it easy to defend.
It once was the capital of Croesus who was pervebial for his riches, so again known for being wealthy.
It is this wealth that seems to have made the city slack.
Built atop a steep hill it’s defences seemed impregnable, but it found itself captured twice due to slackness.
Both times the hill was scaled at night and the over confident Sardians had set no guard thinking their defensive position was good enough.
The city also suffered damages to an earthquake in AD17, but was quickly rebuilt due to the generous aid from the Emperor Tiberius.
These collective facts made for a very distinct problem for the Sardins. They were wealthily, meaning the did not need to fully rely on God and they were overconfident and well sheltered from the problems faced by the rest of the cities.
Combined these attributes created a place where it was easy to slack off in every area of life including their spiritual life.
Revelation 3:1–6 NLT
“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. “Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
Here we read of a booming city, where the church had a reputation of being alive and thriving yet in reality God says it was dead.
The question...

What killed it?

What is interesting here is that the church seems to be active. God is aware all the things it does. Yet somewhere along the line they have fallen asleep.
Acting without purpose, serving with no urgency, The call to wake up would have most assuredly brought to mind the two times they were concord in the middle of the night for they had grown complacent.
sitting in an uncomfortable stand all
Contentment with mediocrity was killing them.
The real question today as verse 6 states
Revelation 3:6 NLT
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

What can we learn from this letter?

We need revival!!

Me: Yesterday I had a plan going to bed. It was the last day of bear season and I was going to wake up early and go out and sit in my tree stand from dawn ‘till dusk. That was the plan. The problem was when I woke up in the morning and it was still dark outside all I could think about was how, all the bear are probably in their dens for winter and how I really hadn’t seen enough sign out there to justify sitting in an uncomfortable stand all day.
So new plan, I was comfortable and tired so I would sleep in and go after lunch. Around 9:30 as I still lay in bed I was reminded of all the reasons I choose not to go out earlier, and I was soooo, comfortable wrapped up in my little cocoon of blankets and pillows.
As I weighed the possibilities I decided it was better worth my time to stay in bed and watch tv. Yes I have a tv in my room, I know unhealthy but super comfortable.
Unfortunately comfort won out, and not only did I not get my bear this year, but I also missed out of fresh air yesterday, beautiful weather I was told, I never left the basement, except maybe twice to get water and see why the dogs were barking.
What I am saying is being comfortable may feel good but being too comfortable often causes us to lose out.
We: This is the problem often faced in the North American Church. Like the Church in Sardis, we are not noted for having to face constant persecution. In fact the persecution we do face is so mild we get worked up and stressed out when we are told we have to wear masks to gather. It sucks yes and we are definitely less comfortable, but let’s face it compared to our brothers and sisters around the world that is pretty mild.
We come and we sit in heated/air conditioned buildings, on padded pews and chairs, we sing songs, and hope to not hear a message that makes us feel challenged or uncomfortable. We like being comforted by the Word of God. Everything is going to be ok.
Also like the church in Sardis compared to the churches around the world we are pretty wealthy. I have visited some churches in the Dominican that make a poll barn look fancy.
We have so much, and we are so comfortable, the fear is like Sardis we might become complacent and content with mediocrity.
God: The church is Sardis was doing things, but what they were we do not know, what we do know is God said their reputation of being alive was not good enough. They were dead, and needed to wake up before what little they had left burned out.
What seems to be the case here is they lost their urgency, their passion and drive for winning the lost. They were content to be comfortable and, so God called out to them to wake up. Jesus like He called into Lazarus’ grave and called him forth from death, now He called forth the church of Sardis.
Wake up, remember what you heard and believed from the beginning. Come back to life, fan into flames the passion you once had.
The church in Sardis does not seem to be being led astray by the teaching of the Ncicolations, no their folly seems to derive from within. They were a church in need of revival.
They were once alive and could be alive again if they repent and turn to God.
You: When is the last time you were made to feel uncomfortable. When is the last time you were not satisfied with the way things are? When is the last time the Spirit of God told you you could do better?
We: we all hear it. Too often we assume it is because the world needs revival. But how can the world be revived if they have never received new life in the first place. No it is us, the church that needs revival. We need to go back to what we heard and believed at first. We need a revived passion, and a reminder of the urgency of the gospel.
It is too easy for us to become comfortable and complacent we need to wake up repent and not just tell the world we are alive but show them the life God has instilled in us.
Next Step: Sing Consuming fire, Pray for revival of the churches in North America.
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