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Signs Of A Spiritually Dead Church

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                       Signs Of A Spiritually Dead Church
                                       Revelation 3:1-6; 14-22


Scripture gives us examples of spiritually dead churches in Revelation 3:1-6; 14-22.
These would be the churches at Sardis and Laodicea. “You have a name that you are
alive, but you are dead” the Lord tells the church at Sardis. And the church at Laodicea
He says “you are neither hot nor cold…I will vomit you out of My mouth”; “you do not
know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” These
churches were being run by the spirits of apathy and indifference—two spirits that help
characterize man without Christ. The churches were well-known, but they made
shipwreck of salvation, faith, and spreading the Gospel.
Christ had no commendations for these churches, meaning, as a whole—there was
nothing good about them. They had done NOTHING right. How can any church do
anything right or noteworthy or produce something with even the tiniest bit of eternal
value if it is not guided by the Holy Spirit? If Christ has nothing good to say to a church
or about a church, then it is clear it is not being run by His Spirit—and so, it is not His
church! Yes, the church at Sardis had a few who had not “soiled their garments”, who,
Christ said, would walk with Him, for they have been found worthy (v.4). But this was
not the entire church, just a few individuals. They were saved in spite of the church. They
were the exceptions, not the norm for these churches.
And in Laodicea, the “lukewarmness” of their hearts indicated their disregard for the
Gospel. They had become wealthy and had need of nothing. They had indeed recognized
the Gospel, and probably in many cases, expounded on its ability to save souls. But for
the Sardisians and the Laodiceans, getting to the point of salvation was flawed, being
based, no doubt, on knowledge and works and all things glorified by men, and not based
on suffering, self-denial, sacrifice and put into bond-slavery to Christ—things required by
God.


                  So, what are some of the signs of a spiritually dead church?


1. It spends virtually all of its energy on itself and its members, existing primarily to provide
fellowship and care only for its members, unless there is an activity with some type of recognition in
it for the church


2. It is often focused more on its past than on its future


3. It is focused more on the church building, church property and much of the material aspects of
the church than on its spiritual aspects, such as saving souls, missions work, outreach, spreading
the Gospel


4. It has no spiritual discernment or understanding—a church without Christ as its foundation can
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no do nothing right in the eyes of God. The word “Laodicea” means to be ruled by the spirit of man,
not by the Spirit of God


5. It has no spiritual desires


6. It does not have the capacity for spiritual enjoyment


7. It believes that the words of Jesus in the “Great Commission” are just words on a page and not a
call to action spurred on by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in regenerated hearts


8. It is more concerned with its finances than with saving souls


9. Its leadership is unaware of its deadness and continues to be an example of the blind leading the
blind


10. It has deceived itself into believing that its prayers are heard


Do you have the desire to come out of the world, to withdraw from your personal society,
to walk in obedience to God, being set aside by Him from the rest of your community and
world and live a life of suffering, persecution, and having people say all manner of things
  about you to prove that your heart has been regenerated by God? This is the life Christ
led. Scripture promises that we too will lead a life of suffering if we are to be bond-slaves
                  of Christ, and not members of a spiritually dead church.

				
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posted:3/19/2010
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