Summary: 7th and final sermon in a series on the seven Churches in Revelation. Looking at characteristics that help us have a positive presence in our community and in our church.
EVERYBODY IS KNOW FOR SOMETHING
Decisions and Bifocals
INTRODUCTION: All of the messages to the churches of Asia are extremely practical, but perhaps none fits the conditions in North America as much as does the message to Laodicea, a church that had become lukewarm in its self-sufficiency.
John MacArthur writes:
One of the remarkable sidelights in the staggering political changes in Eastern Europe is the fact of a vibrant Christianity that has emerged in the midst of the suffering, persecution, and atheism of these Communist dominated countries.
By contrast, in free Europe where there has been prosperity and democracy, the church is almost completely dead. The church has ceased to have any impact on the society. Atheism and humanism have taken over. Government and public policy is governed almost totally by philosophies that are antibiblical and even intolerant of the truth of Scripture.
If you look at the U.S., you find much the same thing. Government and the media, which affects the thinking of so much of America, are, for the most part, liberal and intolerant of Christianity. Leadership in both Europe and the U.S. are working for a one world government while the populace is preoccupied with their comfort and pleasure or the good life. The moral climate or condition of both free Europe and the U.S. is rotten to the core. According to a number of polls, if you compare the values, priorities, practices, and pursuits of professing Christians and non-Christians alike, you find very little difference on the whole.
Yet, much of free Europe and all of America owe their freedom, their prosperity, and blessings to the preaching of the Word of God, to the reformation in Europe, and to the ministries of men like the Wesleys, George Whitfield, and Jonathan Edwards in America.
What then is the problem? Is it freedom? Is it prosperity? No! But there are inherent dangers in both freedom and prosperity, subtle dangers.
It is more than a curiosity that the church has flourished behind the Iron Curtain while dying in the West. The reasons are clear. Lacking any visible external threat to our faith, many in the free world have lost any sense of the subtlety of the enemy and how he attacks. We have grown careless and apathetic. We have become concerned more with our own comfort and well-being than with the command of Christ that we should follow in His steps (1 Pet. 2:21)
PEOPLE CAN’T STAND PROSPERITY SPIRITUALLY!
WITH PROSPERITY COMES THE TEMPTATION TO TRUST OUR BLESSING RATHER THAN OUR BLESSOR
I WE NEED TO MAKE A DECISION FOR JESUS – 3:14-16
A Jesus tells us who He is
1 The Amen
a To be firm
b To be stable
c To be sure
d To be established and trustworthy
e The idea of finality
PRIORITIES NEED TO LAY IN THE ETERNAL, NOT THE TEMPORAL
B Jesus knows all about us
1 Knowledge of our true condition
C Jesus wants us to make a decision
1 Jesus wants us cold – Cold water is refreshing
2 Jesus wants us hot – Hot water is soothing
The city of Laodicea had no water source of its own, and thus had to pipe water from the hot springs to their south. By the time the water reached the city it was tepid, and tasted terrible. The condition of the water was a constant complaint of the city
3 Jesus does not want us lukewarm
a Lukewarm believers are a sickness to the body
1) “spit” or “spew” means to vomit
2) Lukewarm is comfortable
COUCH POTATO CHRISTIANITY!
D The Reality
1 “I would”/”I Wish” – 3:15
a A wish that a thing would happen
b A reality that it probably would not happen
THERE WILL BE MORE BELIEVERS WHO WILL NOT RESPOND TO THE COUNSEL OF JESUS, THAN WILL RESPOND TO HIS COUNSEL!
2 The Marks of Lukewarm Christianity
a “I am rich” -- An overabundance of material blessings
b “Become wealthy” – constant adding to what we already have
c “Need of Nothing” – believing that they need no help from man of God!
Pastor Glass is not preaching against having things, Pastor Glass is preaching against things having you!
n More churches per capita
n More Bibles
n More Christian Literature
n More Christian Schools
n “In God We Trust” on our money
n There is little difference in the lifestyle of the believer vs. the unbeliever
n We are plagued by crime and abuse
n Any name but Jesus is okay in our schools
OUR ABUNDANCE HAS PUSHED JESUS OUT OF OUR LIVES!
E What Jesus says about our condition
1 We are wretched – “to bear hard callous”. We have developed a callousness to our condition and to the truth.
2 We are pitiful – We have become the object of pity – to who? Jesus