The lessons continue. Sardis is dead. Philadelphia needs to continue to be faithful. Laodicea lacks humility. What does this teach us as individuals? First of all, we can look good all we want on the outside, but God knows the heart. We need to want to obey. Just doing what we can to look good doesn’t cut it with God. Secondly, we need to continue to be faithful. God gives us daily opportunities to serve and to share, and we need to take advantage of them! Finally, pride has no place in the life of a Christian. If we think we are self-sufficient we will fall and fail. We owe everything to God.
A writer called Sir William Ramsay did extensive research into the seven churches listed here and made some interesting observations. God doesn’t have anything good to say to Sardis and Laodicea, and their cities were wiped off the map. God has only good to say about Philadelphia and Smyrna, and they are the last cities to fall to Turkish invasion. Some have speculated that the church is actually the guardian of culture, and as the church goes, so does the culture. Could this be true? Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people” (Matthew 5:13). And Peter says, “For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God” (1 Peter 4:17). Does the current state of the church in our culture suggest anything to you?