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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Christian in Name Only (Revelation 3)

The 5th church Jesus sends a personal message to is Sardis. To this church Jesus basically said, "you call yourselves Christians, but you are Christians in name only." That's not something I ever want Him to say to me. So what can we learn here?


Let's look at the exact warning Jesus gave this church:


  • Revelation 3:1,3 I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. [3] Remember what you have received and heard, and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.


Sardis was an extremely wealthy city. It was famous for dyeing and woolen industries, arts, crafts, minted gold and silver coins, and a magnificent temple to Artemis.


So as we see what Sardis had to offer in terms of material wealth and idol worship, it's pretty easy to see what happened here.


They heard about Jesus, accepted Him as their savior, became "Christians," but never ever committed to Jesus as the Lord of their lives. They knew what His Word said but they never committed to truly following and obeying Him. Instead they were focused on themselves, living as "Christians in name only" rather than in a way that glorified Jesus.


Do we see that today?


Do we see an apathy to regard the Bible as the Word of God?


Do we see a growing complacency in which the majority will claim the title of "Christian" as their religion but continue to live, support, and follow their own path rather than pledge to live under Jesus' lordship, truly obeying the Bible as His Word?


I mean the Bible is fine when it says what we want it to say, right? But when it calls things "sin" which hits home for us personally, then we quickly travel down the road of "well, I don't agree with that part."


The problem with that mindset is the Bible either is the inspired Word of God or it is not. For me, there is absolutely no debate. Fulfilled prophecy which is laced together throughout the books of the Old and New Testament clearly prove it is the Word of God.


But each person has to choose. Jesus either is our Lord God or He is not.


If He is not the Lord of our lives, then why claim the title of "Christian" at all?


Jesus loves every one of us and is patiently waiting for every one of us to realize our need to repent and submit to Him as the Lord of our lives. But a time is coming when He will take His followers out of here and then come like a thief in the night to every one else who refuses to follow Him, including those who are "Christians in name only:"

  • Revelation 3:3 Remember what you have received and heard, and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.


Dear Lord, Your Words to the church of Sardis are strong and I wonder if they are also directed to many of our churches today which have the title of "Christian" but no longer accept Your Word as truth in the areas that the World says otherwise. Lord, I trust that all 39 books of the Old Testament and all 27 books of the New Testament are God-breathed, useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. Lord, please draw me and my family close and protect us from false teaching that says otherwise. Fill us completely with Your Spirit and Your Truth so that we may shine Your Light with all who we come in contact with. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.


Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries



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