6/15/18 – Sardis & Philadelphia & Laodicea

In Sardis we saw ruins of the temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. We also viewed the gymnasium-bathhouse – a large 2nd century complex over 5 acres in size. The synagogue here is one of the largest ancient synagogues excavated.

Special insights: This church had come to terms with its pagan environment and thus was rebuked for being “spiritually dead.” It was easier to compromise with the opposition than stand firm in the pure teachings of the founder. The church was told to watch, but it didn’t. There was an urgent call to repent. When a church is watchful and repentant, invasion cannot occur.

Philadelphia is 27 miles from Sardis. Many pagan temples adorned the city but today there is not much to see. It was called “little Athens” because of its many temples.

Special insights: the only letter which shows no disapproval or condemnation from the founder. They’ve kept the founder’s teachings and have not denied his name. They didn’t give in to the pressure – even during the trial of their faith. This is how church survives.

Laodicea is spread over 2 square miles, and most of it unexcavated and unrestored. It was a great center of banking and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the ancient world.

Special insights: This church was totally condemned by the founder. It was self-satisfied. They were lukewarm – useless because of their self-satisfaction and indifference. They were satisfied with having the name of “Christian” but not living what that really means. How can church survive with this type of attitude?

Sardis – Christian church built beside the pagan Temple of Artemis
Sardis – entering the synagogue
Sardis – gymnasium and bathhouse
Sardis Synagogue
Sardis – Temple of Artemis
Laodicea – an early church
Laodicea theater


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