Summary: Jesus is calling the church to commitment. We are committed to our sports teams, hunting, fishing, pleasure and entertainment. Jesus calls for commitment and repentance. It is a call for being in the world but not of the world.
Intro: The words that Jesus share with the church in Laodicea are hard words. Sometimes it takes hard words to awaken those asleep. It will help us understand Jesus words if we know more about the city the church was in.
The city of Laodicea was founded by Antiochus II in 253 B.C. It was named after his wife Laodice.
It was positioned on a high plateau and was very secure from any attacks. The city had no major source of water and had hot springs water piped in 6 miles north from Hierapolis and cold springs water 10 miles to the east from Colossae. By the time either the cold or the hot reached the city of Laodicea they were sickeningly luke-warm.
The city of Laodicea was famous for finances, fashion and pharmaceuticals.
What we should see in this letter to the lukewarm church is Jesus is well aware of the condition of His churches and Christians. He reveals to us the ignorance and indifference of the church in Laodicea. It is the “I don’t know and I don’t care” mentality. This attitude was disgusting to Jesus. It is pictured in the statement “I will vomit you out of my mouth.” It is interesting to find that Jesus had some instruction or correction for each church. However this is the only church that receives no approval.
I. Who Jesus is
A) Jesus is the Amen
Amen is the word that confirms what has been said. He will confirm a need for repentance.
B) Jesus is the faithful and true witness
Jesus will not distort or dilute the truth. Remember the things he said to the religious people. You vipers brood of snakes. Pointing back to the venomous lies of the devil. Jesus will never lie to us or about us. He sees through the disguises, and religious clothing that people put on. He can accurately reveal what the Laodicean church is and he can accurately reveal Immanuel as well.
C) Jesus is the originator of God’s creation
He made everything including you and me. We are made of dust. Without the spirit that God puts in us we would have no life!! He wants us to know we were made by Him and when we confess Him as Lord we are remade by Him and we belong to Him. Jesus isn’t knocking on the door of this church to take sides! He is knocking on their door so He can take over!! Jesus doesn’t just want control of the Sunday morning worship service He wants control of the Monday morning witness service!!
II. What Jesus knows
A) Jesus knows what occupies us
3:15 “I know your works” I know what is taking up your time your talent and your treasures. Jesus knew what the lukewarm church was passionate about. It was not about making Jesus known and sharing the good news of God’s grace with their neighbors and the nations. Jesus is saying “I know your lack of commitment.” Jesus is not ignorant of our home life, our work life or our hobbies and habits. He says I know what occupies you and it is not me.
B) Jesus knows what motivates us
3:15 “You are neither hot nor cold.” This is not a statement about saved or lost. This is a statement of commitment. I completely believe that Jesus is comparing these detestable uncommitted Christians to the cold and hot waters of the surrounding areas. The cold waters that were piped in from Colossae were refreshing. The hot waters that came from Hierapolis had healing properties. Jesus is saying, “I wish that you were committed so that your lives would reveal others need for rest and healing”
The clothes we wear the gear we buy the time we spend are all revealers of what we are motivated by and committed to.
C) Jesus knows what needs to change in us
The church at Laodicea was spiritually blind. So the Amen and faithful and true witness brought a word to them.
1) Pride (Revelations 3:17)
I have become rich and have need of no one. The church didn’t need anyone or anything. A lack of dependence on God will lead to a pretty, popular, polished but powerless church. The cool refreshing and healing water of the church is designed by God to save and transform lives.
Because the church of Laodicea was self-sufficient they were actually wretched, poor, pitiful, blind and naked. There is a great danger in having wealth and resources as followers of Jesus. Jesus desires to give us character we desire careers, comfort, cars and credit. Jesus wants to crown us with righteousness and we want comfort and pleasure.
III. What Jesus advises
Jesus is encouraging this church and every church to choose the spiritual virtues instead of the money, clothing and medicine.