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The letter to the church in Sardis, the fifth of seven letters to churches in Asia Minor, begins with Jesus invoking his position of authority and challenging the church, stating that He knows the church in Sardis is not living an authentic faith.
Jesus confronts the church in Sardis about the state of their faith and instructs them to wake up and become aware of what is really going on, lest they fall asleep and be surprised by Jesus’s coming.
Jesus promises blessings to those in the church in Sardis who have not defiled themselves, telling them that they will be safe from the second death and will have their good deeds exalted in the presence of God.
In the opening to the letter to the church in Philadelphia, Jesus promises this faithful church with an opportunity to walk in authority.
The only letter without a section of rebuke, Jesus praises the church in Philadelphia for their perseverance and promises that He will make His love to them known.
The letter to the church in Philadelphia ends with the promise of closeness with God.
In the letter to the church in Laodicea, the final of the seven churches, Jesus addresses the church as “the beginning and end, and the perfect example,” and warns them of their lukewarm uselessness.
Jesus now explains what it means to be lukewarm and believe you are self-sufficient. He advises that this church in Laodicea depend on Him for what they need instead.
In the final section of the letter to the church in Laodicea, Jesus asks the believers to come be in community with Him and promises a blessing of authority to faithful witnesses.