Church in Sardis

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT

Sardis is the fifth church of the seven churches addressed in Revelation. Sardis is located thirty miles southwest of Thyatira which is known as the modern city of Sart in Turkey today.  Sardis was the capital of ancient Lydia (present-day Turkey).  The city was situated on a mountain spur making it about 1,000 feet above the valley floor.  It had almost perpendicular cliffs making access very difficult for invading armies.  During the time of King Croesus of Lydia, he chooses Sardis as his capital because of its difficult access by invading armies.

Several centuries before John’s time, Sardis was known for their red woolen goods.  The stream that flowed through Sardis had gold and silver dust.  The people discovered how to separate gold from silver.  They were the first people to produce gold and silver coins.

Because access was difficult for invading armies the city became slack in protecting itself.  They put their confidence in their inaccessibility and didn’t keep a night watch.  Several times the city was conquered because of their lack of “watching”.

In John’s day, Sardis was a wealthy city.  Sardis was destroyed by an earthquake in AD 17.  Rome offered to help financially to rebuild the city, but it was refused.  Sardis rebuilt the city from their own wealth.

Sardis was the center of worship for the Greek goddess Cybele, mother of the mountains, also thought to have special powers to restore life to the dead in the form of a tree.  By the third century AD, Cybele was replaced by Artemis.

–Diane (

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Written by Diane Levy


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Thyatira – Promises

Sardis – Description of Jesus