30 Days in the Bible, Day 26: Revelation 3:1-6
One of the hardest things to do is to stand for what is right when almost everyone around you is standing for something wrong. There is pressure to agree with the group so you don’t look like a stubborn holdout. People will try to convince you that what they believe or practice isn’t really wrong. They may even accuse you of being the one who is holding on to an incorrect or even sinful attitude, belief, or practice.
This pressure is a result of going against the grain of human nature. Those who want to follow their own desires don’t want to be saddled with a guilty conscience, so they convince themselves that they’re really OK if you just look at what they’re doing in the right light. When a faithful servant of Jesus thinks or lives in a way that shines the light of truth on them, they fight back, trying to justify their behavior while ignoring the warning God is giving them.
In the church at Sardis, there were a few who kept themselves from the stain of the world. While the rest of the church was barely alive, they stood fast for Jesus. Their conduct was a reminder of what it meant to be a faithful follower of the Lord, and I would imagine they faced some stiff peer pressure to fall in line with the rest of the congregation. Yet they wanted to be ready if they should meet the Lord, whether by His return or through death.
As a result of their faithfulness, they were the only ones Jesus commends in His letter to church. He sees through the reputation of the church and gives them a harsh warning, but He promises those who were faithful that they will walk with Him. Standing firm for the Lord would result in a reward far beyond what they could attain through their own selfish, sinful desires.
If Jesus were to visit our church today, what would He say about each of us? Would we be the ones who are commended for standing firm for the truth and for serving faithfully despite the pressures placed on us? Or would we be the ones receiving a warning that our reputation doesn’t match our work? Our goal should be to hear the praise of our Lord when He comes for us, and to know that we have been able by His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit to resist the temptation to compromise.