A letter to the church of the living dead

Hey!  John!  Write a letter for Me? To that lot in Sardis.  Tell them I’ve been keeping an eye on them, I know what they’re up to.  It’s all show.  They look just like a bunch of committed and enthusiastic Christians but they’re actually nothing of the sort.  Dead.  Nearly all of them.  Just a few who are really Mine.  Tell them to repent and turn to Me before I come back unexpectedly and blot them out of the book of life.

So what’s a dead Christian then?  How could you pretend to be one but not be really?


Someone, perhaps, who is on all the rotas, always willing to do their bit and more besides – but who never actually takes time out to talk to God?

I do all that.  And I talk to God.  I pray every day.

Worshipping and praising and repenting?

Yes, of course.  Not that I do anything to repent of.

Well, let’s start with pride and foolishness then.

Oh.  Well, okay.  I know all about the prayers of the Pharisee and the publican.  But I really don’t …

Try greed.  How good are you at sharing?

I’m okay there.  I share everything I have except my toothbrush.  Car, clothes, money, food … only have to ask.

What about the gospel message of salvation?

Oh, well, can’t keep pushing stuff under people’s noses, pearls before swine you know …

Who exactly are you adjudging as swine?  Let’s move on to idolatry.

How dare you!  I’ll have you know I’m …

That’s loving something else more than God.

Well I don’t!

You love your garden.  How much time do you spend on that compared to God?

You’re closer to God in a garden, you know …

God is always close to us.  Remember Jonah’s mistake?  Is it weeds and planting and pruning on your mind – or worship, praise and repentance?

There you go again about repentance.

How greedily do you stuff yourself when you’re hungry?

I – do – not – do - that!  I eat moderately and with restraint, never grabbing, and maintain a flow of smalltalk between mouthfuls – which is never full, by the way.

Thought so.  But I was talking about the hunger and thirsting after righteousness.

I read my Bible every single day.

Is that because you have a dutiful sense that it’s the right thing to do, or are you hungry for God’s advice and help so you can repent?

I keep telling you I have nothing to repent of!


Pride, arrogance, foolishness, idolatry, greed … John has written us all a letter from Jesus.  It is in Revelation chapter 3 verses 1-6.  Suppose He did come back unexpectedly and you realise that you weren’t quite as alive as you thought?

By Hilary