The following post is the fifth in a series focusing on Revelation 2-3, the letters to the 7 churches. I have written these posts to supplement the Sunday School class I am teaching on the same topic, however they will be helpful to you independent of the class as well. Enjoy!
How comfortable is your life right now? Chances are, no matter how you would answer that question, if you’re reading this as a part of the church in America, you’re fairly comfortable by the worlds standards. We are blessed as a church to have money, nice buildings, and plenty of opportunity to meet for fellowship without fear of violent persecution. As individuals, we have roofs over our heads and most of us have at least a small amount of disposable income. That, friends, is comfortable.
While being comfortable can make us feel alive and useful, the reality is that the more comfortable we are the more difficult it is for us to do anything substantial for the Kingdom of God (I said difficult, not impossible). This is the situation that the Risen Christ addressed regarding the church in Sardis. He said,
“…You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” Revelation 3:1
This was a church with copious amounts of money and a seclusion from virtually any persecution or other type of danger. Outsiders would look at this church and think “ That looks great! I want to be a part of that!” Their reputation was one of life, but spiritually they were dead. Their extreme comfort had inhibited them from doing anything meaningful or risky for the Kingdom of God.
We, too, can find ourselves so at ease in life that we risk finishing our time here on earth without doing anything substantial for the Kingdom. let me be clear that this is not an issue of salvation, but Scripture shows us that our eternity will be greatly influenced by what we do while we are here on earth. In the words of the Apostle Paul:
“Each ones work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
What we do while we are here matters, friend. We will all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ one day, not to receive punishment, but to receive our rewards. Some will be overjoyed because we did work on earth that had eternal significance — and there will be great reward for it. Others, however, will experience great sorrow because, while they were saved and will be in heaven, they receive very little reward because their life was so consumed with the temporal.
Are you so focused on the comforts of life that you forget about making a real impact for the Kingdom? Do not make the mistake that the church in Sardis did. Do not be satisfied with your comfort, but rather turn your focus to eternity. A great reward awaits you!