A Dead Church

Lou Lotz

READ : Revelation 3:1-3

I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. (v. 1)

What does a dead church look like? I imagine a boarded-up building, disheveled and dilapidated, the grass gone to weeds, the congregation all deceased or moved away. What a sad sight.

But the church in Sardis wasn’t like that. They worshiped every Sunday. The church had a good reputation, and an illustrious past. But the Lord looks beyond outward appearances and pronounces the verdict: the church is dead. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

The next time you look up at the North Star, consider this: you’re not seeing the star the way it looks now, but the way it looked several hundred years ago. It just took that long for the starlight to travel across the heavens and reach your eye. If the North Star ran out of gas and stopped glowing, nobody would know—at least not for another 430 years. The star would continue to shine, but it would be dead, shining solely by the light of the past. The church in Sardis was like that, shining by the light of an illustrious past, but dead.

There is more to being a church than paying the bills. If we give our tithes to fund maintenance rather than mission, if worship becomes more duty than joy, if we view the church as our club, rather than God’s house, then we are on the way to the cemetery. Pray that the Lord will breathe life into his church.


Lord, breathe life into your church. Amen.