A message to Laodicea
This is a study about human beings falling into complacently and how God sees the heart. Jesus has some things to say about their lives. This is a subject worth looking into because so many of us have fallen into this sin.
(14) "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; (15) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth. (17) 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: (18) 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 eye salve, that thou mayest see. (19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (20) 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 (21) 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. (22) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3 :14-22.
Laodicea was about 40 miles from Ephesus, they were extremely rich in banking and were noted for healing eyes with a special ointment. It had race tracks, theaters and liked pleasure. The majority of these people lived for the moment.
Jesus gives Himself three titles to this church and He does this for very specific reasons so they could relate to where they were wrong.
He first reveals Himself as the Amen which is translated into I believe. The Laodiceans did not really have a strong belief in Jesus Christ although most of them did accept Him as their Savior. The Son of God was reminding them that He had very strong belief in His Father so this title was meant for them to have stronger faith in Him. They were probably rich and did not feel they needed to exercise this practice with God.
Jesus also identifies Himself as the faithful and true witness. Apparently this church took the words of Jesus very lightly. This has probably happened to every one of us because when we try and explain something to an individual or group and they just brush us off as virtually nothing we are not being listened to and feel like we are not even present.
Jesus also gives Himself the title the beginning of the creation of God. The church was probably like the world and fit in very well so at least subconsciously they forgot that Jesus Christ is the Creator of the very pleasures they were enjoying. To take this one step deeper how can we witness to anyone being so immersed in pleasures and be a credible vessel for Jesus Christ? Our Lord was quite concerned with this church. In fact there is not one commendation this fellowship received from God. They were indifferent and as a result they became completely ineffective for Jesus Christ.
Jesus called them lukewarm. They were neither cold nor hot. If they were just apathetic that would have been more honest. If they were fervent that would have been more honest but in the eyes of God they were right in the middle. Jesus uses some very strong language because he says ... "I will spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:16.
Jesus also rebukes this church for the love of money or material success in the sense that they believed this was the seal of being His child. For embracing this false truth Jesus called them wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Smyrna was poor but spiritually rich in Jesus Christ so as you can see it is important what we believe because we will think and respond accordingly and as a result we will either be accepted or rejected by God.
If a church is so into material things then there is probably little hope for them. If it were me in one of these churches I would try and leave because from my experience most people engrossed in a system like this do not listen and just keep moving forward in their wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked condition. I know I have been there and I can testify that Jesus Christ is not at the center of our life in that mind and heart condition.
Jesus exhorts this church to ... "Buy gold from Me that has been tried in the fire that you may be rich" ... Revelation 3:18. The Bible tells us that our trials are a testing for our faith. This should be more precious to us as believers in Jesus Christ because this is what makes us strong and pure in Him. God created gold in a way that fire refines it because the bad goes to the top and can be taken off but if there is no test (fire) then the sin stays in the middle and in spiritual terms remains lukewarm.
Jesus urges them to buy white raiment to cover their spiritual nakedness. This church really needed Jesus Christ's white robes of righteousness which according to the Bible is free to anyone who receives Him as Savior and Lord by repenting of all sins and being freed from their transgressions. The King of Kings knew exactly what they needed and it was not material wealth. God owns everything anyway so how did they get so deceived into believing a lie?
Jesus also says ... "And anoint your eyes with salve that you may see." Revelation 3:18. Their main industry was dealing with human eyes so our Lord is getting down to their level. "Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3. Notice the word "See" in this verse.
"As many as I love I rebuke and discipline. Be zealous therefore and repent." Revelation 3:19. There are always a handful of true believers in most denominations so according to Hebrews chapter twelve the fact that God disciplines His children is good news because this is evidence of being born again in the kingdom of God. Also notice Jesus says ..."Be zealous therefore and repent."
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will fellowship with him and he with Me." Revelation 3:20. This is one of the most popular verses in the Bible and one of the most misunderstood because Jesus is waiting at the door of His children's hearts but He does this to be invited to fill our void. This is a verse for Christians not unbelievers yet it is used to witness for Jesus Christ. God understands the lack of proper application and has still allowed this verse for people that don't know the Lord to come to His Son.
Jesus gives them a promise that if they overcome through Him their victory is sitting next to the Son of God just as He overcame and sits next to His Father. This should give us a hint that we are to pray to God that we overcome our trials through Jesus Christ.
There is prophetic implication that this church corresponds with the time era from 1925 A.D to the rapture of the church. Many schools in America and Europe engaged in higher criticism of the Bible and as a result taught people more about doubting God than having true faith in Jesus Christ.
There is one more point I would like to make about our time era which corresponds prophetically to the Laodicean church. I have never seen so much big money running around all over the place across this earth.
This type of church does not go up in the rapture but instead goes into the kingdom age in the seven year tribulation period. If you have any doubts that your faith is not authentic in Jesus Christ then I ask you to accept Him into your heart today/tonight by repenting of all your sins and allowing the Son of God to be your very own Savior and Lord. This is one decision that you will never regret and it will last for all eternity.
God Bless you,