Sermons

Summary: The Church at Laodicea was an example of a Church that lacked leaders who were willing to move them past their comfort zone. God calls all of us to lead people without fear.

INTRODUCTION

• VIDEO

• SLIDE #1

• I cannot imagine what those young men were thinking as they approached the shores of Normandy. I wonder how many of them thought this was going to be the last moments of life?

• According to a press release from June 6, 2014 from the White House office of the press secretary; “The cost of the Normandy campaign was high on both sides. From D-day through August 21, the Allies landed more than two million men in northern France and suffered more than 226,386 casualties: 72,911 killed/missing and 153,475 wounded. German losses included over 240,000 casualties and 200,000 captured. Between 13,000 and 20,000 French civilians died, and many more were seriously wounded. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/06/fact-sheet-normandy-landings

• I would imagine those the soldiers who were about to hit the beaches would have been more comfortable laying on a beach in California or Hawaii.

• Today we are going to examine the concept of leading people beyond their comfort.

• If we are going to help those around us to reach their full potential in life as well as in their walk with Jesus, we must have the courage to try to move people out of their comfort zones.

• The text we will examine the issue of courage. It takes courage to be a leader in any capacity. Leaders are called to make tough choices and sometimes those choices will not be popular.

• This is especially true when seeking to lead people beyond their comfort zone, it is also true of the leader, are you willing to lead people beyond your personal comfort zone?

• When people are comfortable, they are not too eager to move. When you finally get to sit down in the comfortable chair at home, you are not too excited about getting out of the chair.

• In our text today, we will be looking at one of the letters to the seven churches that was written in the book of Revelation.

• The letter to the church at Laodicea was last letter of the seven.

• The things that made Laodicea strong are the things that caused the church to grow comfortable. Throughout the text today we will see how John systematically dismantle the source of the churches comfort.

• SLIDE #2

Revelation 3:14–17 (HCSB) — 14 “Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked,

• SLIDE #3

SERMON

Leading people beyond their comfort requires a leader to have the courage to help others to:

I. Make an honest assessment of their current condition.

• When a person asks you how to get somewhere, one of the first things to you need to know is WHERE they are currently.

• You need an honest assessment of where they are so that you can get them to where they need to be.

• People get comfortable in their lives when they do not take the time to examine where they are, what they do not know will hurt them.

• If you were to ask the folks in the church at Laodicea how they were doing spiritually, it appears that the response you would receive would be that they are going great.

• They would probably respond that they are doing well because they were apparently flourishing materially.

• SLIDE #4

• Laodicea, south of Philadelphia, was a burgeoning commercial city that drew in a great many people.

• The city home of manufacturers of articles made from native wool famous for its glossy black; it was also the center of banking operations, and of the worship of (AS CLEEP E US) Asclepius, the god of healing.

• The church there had a close relationship to the neighboring churches in Hierapolis and Colossae.

• A devastating earthquake struck Laodicea in A.D. 17, and, like other cities in the province of Asia, it received financial aid from the Roman government.

• In A.D. 60 a second earthquake struck the city, and the Roman government offered financial aid to rebuild the city.

• But the city fathers sent the government a negative reply and made it known that they themselves had ample resources for reconstruction. In fact, they even contributed to the rebuilding of neighboring cities.

• So the church had one assessment of how well they were doing and God had another.

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