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Small Group Guide:
Open with prayer.
Go around and give everyone a chance to share about how the past week has been. What’s one highlight? What’s one lowlight?
If your small group has talked about it before, feel free to use this time to hold people accountable to what they’ve asked to be held accountable for previously, and go through the “missional” part of this discussion guide.
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 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. 3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. 4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Throughout this sermon series we are looking parts of God’s Word that involve the church, and what it looks like for us to be the church that God created us to be. Today, we’re looking at a message in Revelation that Jesus has for the church in Sardis. His message to this church helps us to realize the dangers of looking like we are spiritually thriving, while dying on the inside.
We need to realize that falling away from Christ poses a serious threat to the Christian and the church
Rev. 3:1, Matt. 5:13, 23:25-28, Mark 11:12-14, Luke 14:34-35, John 15:6, Heb. 3:12,10:23, 2 Pet. 1:10, 3:17, 1 Tim. 1:18, Titus 3:8, Phil. 4:1
What to do if you look alive but are spiritually dead:
Reevaluate your life
Rev. 3:2, Ps. 139:23-24, 1 Cor. 9:24-27, Matt. 5:8
Remember and repent
Rev. 3:3a, Deut. 6:12, 8:2, Ps. 119:55, 2 Cor. 5:17, 1 John 1:9, Luke 13:3
Realize the end
Rev. 3b-5, 1 Thess. 4:16-17, Rev. 20:12-15, Luke 10:20
- Have you ever studied or hear this passage or topic preached on before? What stood out to you?
- Have you ever experienced someone in your life falling away from Christ? If so, what caused that? Did it happen because of an event, or slowly over time?
- Evaluate your life. What in your life strengthens your relationship with God? What damages your relationship with God?
- Looking at your answers from question #3, is there anything you need to repent of? If so, what? Spend some time in prayer, repenting of the things that have damaged your relationship with God.
- What would it look like for you to live with eternity in mind?
- How can you help others not fall away from the faith?
- What is your biggest take away from this message? What did God teach you? Do you feel led to put anything into action? If so, what, and what practical step(s) do you need to take to be obedient to what God has led you to do? Who can keep you accountable to accomplishing this?
Pray for each other in your small group to be faithful take the step(s) that you shared above. Pray for each other and the interactions that they have with those who don’t know Jesus. Pray that God would soften the people’s hearts to what He has for them. Pray that God would give everyone opportunities to share the Gospel.
Share spiritual/missional conversations you’ve had where you live, work, and play:
Who did you have a conversation with that took a spiritual/missional turn this week?
What questions did you ask to discover where God is at work in their life, even if they are not aware?
How were you able to share your story of life change or how you have experienced Jesus?
How can you be intentional this week with people where you live, work, and play to have spiritual/missional conversations if the opportunity arises?
Who in your life do you think could be discipleable or open to spiritual/missional conversations?
Discuss the next step for your small group. When will we gather again and what purpose will it fulfill?