Summary: Church at Laodecia. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Revelation chapter 3 verses 14-22.

• Nobody likes being sick;

• I nobody really enjoys having to go to the doctors.


• David Grimes in Reader’s Digest:

• Doctors - What They Say and What They Actually Mean

• What they say: “It could be one of several things.”

• What they mean: “I haven’t the foggiest idea what’s wrong with you.”

• What they say: “Are you sure you haven’t had this before?”

• What they mean: “Because you’ve got it again.”

• What they say: “I’d like to run that test again.”

• What they mean: “The lab lost your blood sample.”

• What they say: “Insurance should cover most of this.”

• What they mean: “You’ll have to sell your house to cover the rest.”

• What they say: “These pills have very few side effects.”

• What they mean: “You may experience sudden hair growth on your palms.”

• What they say: “Why don’t you go over your symptoms with me one more time.”

• What they mean: “I don’t remember who you are.”

• What they say: “There’s a lot of this going around.”

• What they mean: “And we’ll give it a name as soon as we figure out what it is.”

• Nobody likes being sick;

• And to make matters worse, sometimes people just don’t believe you.

• Quote: Did you hear about the inscription on the tombstone of a hypochondriac? It read,

• "Now will you believe that I’m sick?"

• Question: How are you feeling today?

• Answer: Fine. That’s great – I’m glad.

• Actually there is a much more important question we should ask:

• How is Christ feeling today?

• As he looks at us individually and his collective people, the Church.

• How does he feel? Is he pleased or is he sick of us!

• The word translated as ‘spit’ (N.I.V.) actually means to vomit.

• K.J.B. uses the word ‘spue’.

Quote: The Message:

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot – far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.”

• Strong pictures words; but let’s not miss the point;

• Here is an instant where Christ felt ill to the bottom of his stomach.

• The shocking thing is this;

• It was a bunch of Christian’s not sinful heathens that made him feel this way!

I want to look at this letter under 4 headings:

(1) A Picture of Laodicea:

• Antiochus II founded the city in the middle of the 3rd Century BC;

• And named it after his wife Laodice.

Laodicea an important centre of trade and communication:

• This was because it was situated on the most important road in Asia.

• It was on the main trade route linking Ephesus and Syria.

• You entered the city by the Ephesian gate and left by the Syrian gate.

• So to travel this important trade route meant you had to go through Laodicea.


(1). it was known firstly for its wealth.

• It was the financial and banking centre of the whole region;

• You could say it had money to burn.


• It was so wealthy that after it was destroyed in A.D. 17;

• By a great earthquake.

• Tithe people refused imperial help in rebuilding the city,

• Choosing rather to do it entirely by themselves.

• That would be like one of our cities;

• Refusing government aid after a natural disaster;

• And choosing to replace all the buildings and infrastructure itself.

• So it was a very rich city and had no need of any outside help.

(2). it was known secondly for its wool.

• Much of the cities wealth;

• Came from the production of its famous wool.

• A fine quality glossy black wool;

• Which would be exported throughout the known world.

(3). it was known thirdly for its school of medicine

• The school of medicine; produced a special ointment known as "Phrygian powder."

• This was famous for its ability to cure of eye defects

But for all its fame:

• Laodicea was also known for something else.

• Its horrible water supply.

• Despite its wealth,

• It did not have a local water supply sufficient to provide for its population.

• And so an aqueduct was built to bring water from hot springs 6 miles away.

• On its journey overland to Laodicea, it cooled until it was lukewarm when it arrived.

Quote: Ian Barcley:

“It was a standing joke in Laodicea that unsuspecting travellers approaching the city from the west would often try to drink from the outer pools in the area known as the Phrygian Gate.

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