Understanding The Letter To Sardis

Q. I really enjoy your website and appreciate your teaching and insight. In the letter to the church in Sardis in Rev. 3, I understand these letters are to the believing church. In verse 2 “I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God”, and then in verse 5 talking about erasing your name from the book of life leaves me with a question as to these believes losing their salvation. Although I understand that Jesus has taken our sin away and we can not work or have “deeds” to receive that salvation, can you explain the deeds part and the fact that their names could be removed from the Book of Life.

A. In the Letter to Sardis (Rev. 3:1-6) the members are separated into 2 groups, those who will walk with the Lord dressed in white and those who won’t. Those who won’t are warned to obey what they heard at first, which was the gospel. Belief in the gospel is necessary to make their deeds complete. Those who take His advice and rely on the gospel are promised that their names will never be blotted out of the book of life. In other words they’ll have eternal life.

I believe Sardis represents the liberal denominations who never teach the need to be born again, but that people inherit eternal life through church membership or infant baptism. At the rapture, the people who believe only that will be left behind, their deeds incomplete, while the ones who believe we must be born again to see the Kingdom (John 3:3) will be taken.

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