March 13 2022
Today, Sunday March 13
“Be Zealous and Repent” Revelation 3:19-22 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." ' "
The Church of Laodicea had become lukewarm. It had lost its vigor, its value, its vision, and it had lost it vesture. This church was the foolish church, the apostate church and I believe it could very well represent the last church in the last days of church history just before the Lord Jesus returns! The Lord closed this letter with three special statements that are an explanation, an exhortation and an invitation.
First, an explanation: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten". Even though they were lukewarm and making God sick, He still loved and cared for them. Next the Lord gives them an exhortation, “Therefore be zealous and repent.” Five of the seven churches were given this same command to repent! Every church heard the words, “I know your works….”. It is apparent that all seven church were busy serving in some way. But if we are not careful, we can over time, get so busy serving and working for the Lord that we forget the Lord of the work! Like the church of Laodicea we can lose our dependency on the Lord and actually become independent of Him and His Holy Spirit doing the work through us! And the Lord rebukes us, chastens us and calls us to repentance!
This word zealous means "to be hot." This is Lord’s last message to the church. He says, "Be zealous." Be hot. Get on fire for God. He is ordering this church to forsake its lukewarm state. Paul told Timothy to “stir up the gift that was in him….” (2 Timothy 1:6). We also might have begun to serve the Lord in a routine way and are just going through the motions of worship, devotion and service! We might have lost the excitement and enthusiasm that we once had and the Lord is calling us to repentance.
It appears that this church needs repentance more than all the others. And the message of repentance is for the contemporary church today. We are living in a day when so many Christians are choosing the church they attend by how it “makes them feel.” Far too many churches today could be called “The Felt Need Church.” Instead of joining and attending a church where we are needed to help accomplish the mission of the church we are wanting the church to meet the “felt needs” of our lives and family. What is even sadder than that, is the fact that for the most part, too many churches have simply become entertainment centers! And whatever church can provide the best “Christian” entertainment will become the church that has the biggest attendance!
This kind of fire and excitement reminds me of the “strange fire” we read about in Leviticus 10:1-7 and Numbers 3:4, that Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron offered before the Lord and the Lord killed them! This fire is a fire that we have kindled with our own hands and ingenuity instead of the Holy Spirit! And it doesn’t please the Lord!
The message to this lost church, as it is to all the unsaved, is to zealously pursue the "repentance that leads to life" (Acts 11:18). This means that we not only turn away from our sin and disobedience, but that we turn back to the Lord and His grace and surrender our lives to Him! It means that we take up the cross and follow Jesus at whatever the cost!
Will you join me in prayer today in asking the Lord to forgive us and our churches for losing our first love and our dependency upon Him?