Looks can get deceiving. Jesus accused the church in Sardis of acting spiritual on the outside but lacking vitality on the inside. But there is hope in Christ through repentance and earnest pursuit of Him.
Inward desires and outward pressure from the world may lure us from holding fast to God’s truth. Jesus rebuked the church of Thyatira for tolerating sexual immorality and idolatry to go on in their lives. The one who holds fast will receive eternal blessings from God.
As followers of Jesus Christ, how we live still matters to God. Compromises to the way of the world will lead to idolatry and immorality. Jesus promises to be our true satisfaction in the present and our eternal reward in the future.
The church in Smyrna suffered much for Christ. Today, many believers in the world continue to suffer the sake of Christ. Jesus encourages to not fear in our suffering and to stay faithful in living for Him in this world. Our ultimate reward is not in this life but in the life to come.
While it is important for us to faithfully endure for the name of Christ, we are called to do so out of love for Christ. When our faith grows old, our hearts grow cold. Working for Christ does not replace being in Christ.