“So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, on September 21 of the second year of King Darius’s reign” (Haggai 1:14-15, NLT).
Many of the Jewish exiles returned to Judea after Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, issued a decree permitting people who had been conquered and deported by the Babylonians to return to their homelands.
“You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” According to the Apostle John the church in Sardis was in a spiritual state that was near death–the church had no spiritual vitality. But there was still hope the church would awake from its spiritual coma and revitalize itself because it had not accomplished God’s plans and purposes. The differing salutations to each of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 forewarns the failure and/or poses a subtle hint at the solution for the failure identified for each church. In the case of the church in Sardis, the salutation says: “The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars” (vs. 1). The “seven spirits of God” is figurative language for the Holy Spirit and the seven stars are the angels for each church–a personification of the identity of each church as if concentrated in its angel or messenger. Thus, the Lord informs the messenger of the church in Sardis that it needs a spiritual wake-up call–it needs a refilling of the Holy Spirit so that its works can be complete in God’s sight. So how does this Holy Spirit revitalization take place? “Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent” (vs. 3). The Lord tells the church in Sardis that what it needs is a Holy Ghost revival! It needs to repent of its spiritual apathy and indifference for the gospel, get back to the fundamental truths of the gospel, re-ignite the passion with which it first received the gospel, and go out and actually live out the gospel. If you need a spiritual wake-up call, then try this recipe for revival and let the Holy Spirit revitalize you with a new zeal for the gospel that will enable you to accomplish what God has planned and purposed for your life.