On the television show M*A*S*H, Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III made it clear what separated him from everybody else – “I’m a Winchester,” he was heard to say more than once. For him, it was his family name that made him superior to everyone else. Other people carry other burdens. One woman received her education at Harvard and found a way to work Harvard into every conversation. Congregations fall victim to the same problem. Christians can become satisfied with their pasts to the point that they do not make the changes necessary to live in the present with the same degree of faithfulness shown in prior years. It is one thing to be proud of certain things, but it is possible to lean too heavily on a good past and live too scantily in the precious present.
Of the church in Sardis it was said, “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Rev. 3:1). The church in Sardis had a “name,” i.e. they had a good reputation; they had the reputation of being a faithful and hard working congregation. But the church had now sunk into such a spiritual inactivity, possibly to the level of the world, that even though they once had a good reputation, they were now dead. This describes many churches today that have a reputation of soundness and activity, but inwardly they are decaying and dying.
Friends, we cannot live on our past laurels. Each day we must live up to the name “Christian.” Each day we must prove our faithfulness. Each day we must faithfully work for the Lord. For this reason the apostle John declared, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee” (Rev. 3:2-3).
Think About It!
Have A Great Day!