“But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! To the one who conquers, I will permit him to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.’…..Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself……. But I have a few things against you: You have some people there who follow the teaching of Balaam, who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. To the one who conquers, I will give him some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and on that stone will be written a new name that no one can understand except the one who receives it.’…….. But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I will repay each one of you what your deeds deserve. However, hold on to what you have until I come. And to the one who conquers and who continues in my deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations –” Revelation 2:4, 7, 10, 14, 17, 20, 23, 25-26 NET https://bible.com/bible/107/rev.2.4-26.NET
Saved by Jesus’ work on the cross does not mean living any way we please. Saved by Jesus’ work on the cross means living in surrender and absolute loyalty to Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus returns in His glory to His beloved disciple John with a message of rebuke for His church. While not all churches had something wrong with them, most did, and He warns all that they must persevere in obedience and through trial to receive their eternal reward. We balk at such language, claiming this advocates working for our salvation, but this is not working for our salvation but working out the salvation God paid for with His blood. Our free salvation cost God everything. Receiving His free salvation means giving everything we have to His service and His ways. Our belief will not appease our God on that Day He judges our deeds. Our deeds demonstrating our belief in His work accomplished for us and His righteousness appropriated to us will prove that we have believed in Him because we honored Him with our lives. As we celebrate the arrival of God as a humble baby, let us not forget He is always the Mighty God Who has come and will come again to judge and reward all people for the lives they lived while on this earth, whether good or bad by faith or not.