March 07 2022
Today, Monday March 07
Laodicea, The Lukewarm Church Revelation 3:14-17 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—“
This is the last letter that was written to a church in the New Testament! Previously, the Holy Spirit had inspired the Apostle Paul to write a specific letter to the church in Ephesus, to the church in Philippi, to the church in Colossae, to the church in Thessalonica, and to the churches in Galatia. Then here in Revelation, the Apostle John is inspired to write these seven letters to these seven churches. And the very last letter is this letter to the church of Laodicea!
I believe that the Church of Laodicea could very well represent the characteristics the church just before the Lord Jesus Christ comes back and the Seven Year Tribulation begins. But it can also represent the last state of an older Christian that has become “lukewarm.” It is obvious that the church of Laodicea had lost its vigor, lost its value, lost its vision and had lost its vesture! This church “thought” that it was “rich, had become wealthy, and was saying that it had need of nothing”. But when Jesus looked at the heart of this church and described it real condition, He said that it was “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”
So how does a church or a Christian become “lukewarm”? I have often said over the years that the most miserable person is not a lost person living in their sin, but is a backslidden believer out of fellowship with the Lord. They can’t enjoy the world they are trying to live in and they can’t enjoy the blessings of the Christian life either! Why? Because they have become “lukewarm”.
In the Christian life, there are three "spiritual temperatures": a burning heart, on fire for God (Luke 24:32), a cold heart (Matt. 24:12), and a lukewarm heart (Rev. 3:16). The lukewarm Christians are comfortable, complacent, and do not realize their need. If they were cold, at least they would feel it! Both the cold water from Colossae and the hot water from Hieropolis would be lukewarm by the time it was piped to Laodicea.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we have every reason to be "fervent in spirit" (Rom. 12:11). Fervent prayer is also vital (Col. 4:12). It was as the Emmaus disciples listened to the Word that their hearts began to “burn within” and they were warmed. No wonder Paul commanded that his letter to Colossae be sent to the Laodicean church! (Col. 4:16)
We enjoy a beverage that is either hot or cold, but not one that is tepid and is flat and stale. That's why the waitress keeps adding hot coffee or fresh iced tea to our cups and glasses. The second law of thermodynamics basically states that everything material is in a state of decline and decay and unless something is added from the outside, the system will die. Without added fuel, the hot water in the boiler becomes cool; without electricity, the refrigerant in the freezer becomes warm.
Our greatest danger is not the persecution from without, but the blessings that we begin to take for granted. This is what God warned Israel of before they went into the Promise Land! (Deuteronomy 8:11-20) When we start depending on our accumulated knowledge and experience, that we have built up over the years, instead of the Lord, we will fall into the same condition of the Laodicean church that had become independent, self-satisfied, and secure. "We have need of nothing!"
Every day we desperately need something from without to keep our spiritual temperature hot! Only the energy and power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God can keep us fervent in spirit for the Lord Jesus Christ!