The fifth church that Jesus mentions in Revelation, and the first in chapter 3 is the church in Sardis. In Revelation 3:1-3, Jesus tells them:
1 … I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2’Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3′ So 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.
This is a church that looks good on the outside, but Jesus knows that it’s really dead. This congregation had gone so far off track that they had become like the Pharisees:
27 ” Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
This message should scare us. We can become so far gone, so captivated by our appearance to the outside world or anyone else, that we lose sight of why we’re doing those things. We can’t just fulfill our obligations to God so that those obligations are fulfilled. Without purpose, action is just movement. Pair it with purpose, though, and what once was just rote activity becomes a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.
We must remember what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31:
31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
We can glorify God in anything that we do. We SHOULD glorify God in everything that we do. Our purpose on Earth is obedience to God – but not just for obedience sake. We work to proclaim our love for God the Father and know that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has granted us eternal life.