Friday, September 5, 2014

The Message To Laodicea

Revelation 3:14-22

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:14-16)

To the church at Laodicea, the Lord introduces himself as the basis of all creation, the one who can always be trusted.  He knows exactly what they are doing, and that they are neither hot nor cold.  They have not completely forgotten about God and his word, but they are not committed to it either.  They are not even involved enough to have a reputation for being alive.  They are like lukewarm milk, neither hot enough nor cold enough to taste good.  If they were committed either to serve God or to ignore him, God would be able to work with them, but since they are not willing to commit, he will just spit them out.

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Revelation 3:17-18)

This church has property and wealthy people and a large attendance and is convinced the lack nothing.  In fact their pastor was probably traveling around giving seminars on how to be like them.  They didn’t realize they had nothing to offer of spiritual value.  All their treasures were laid up in physical things.  The Lord advised them to use some of that earthly wealth for something of spiritual value so could be rich in heaven.  They needed to trade in some of their self-righteousness for Christ’s righteousness, so they would be righteous before God, and let the Holy Spirit open their spiritual eyes so they could see what they were doing. 

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)

Paul refers to the church in Laodicea several times in the book of Colossians, so we know there were Christians in the church.   The Lord warns that he corrects every one of his children.  If they do not want to experience his punishment, they need to repent of their careless unconcern and put some effort into doing what he said. 

 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:20-21)

The Lord is looking for anyone who cares enough to invite him in.  If they will do so, they will have the privilege of enjoying sharing what the Lord has for them.  Those who pay attention will be granted access to Jesus’s throne just as Jesus has access to God’s. 

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:22)

This is the seventh time we have been told that anyone who hears needs to pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches.  I cannot think of very many things god repeated seven times.   Clearly, these messages are some of the most important things in the Bible.  Unfortunately, they are also some of the most neglected.

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