Summary: We can easily become complacent and lukewarm in a comfortable environment, self-deceived into thinking we are fine. The Lord reveals our true need.
This is the most popular and the most used passage among all the seven messages given to the churches in Revelation.
• It is so because many people can identify with the condition in Laodicea.
• This church’s experience wasn’t unique; it is common. We see that even in our own lives.
• The spiritual condition of not being hot or cold - being lukewarm - is sadly, something that we know first hand.
This is a danger we face as faithful believers. We are complacent.
• We lost the zeal and joy of being a Christian, and began to go through the motions.
• Doing the same routines week after week. We got used to LISTENING to the Word and not DOING it.
• We begin to church more out of habit than anything else.
We saw the danger of complacency recently, in the escape of Mas Selamat.
• People got used to the same routine, the same people, the same schedule…
• You let go of your guard, because there is really little for you to be watchful about.
The church at Laodicea was in such a condition - a ‘going through the motion’ stage.
• Are you now in a ‘going through the motion’ stage? Is everything a routine?
• Are you in love with Jesus? Are you concerned with the lost of precious lives?
• Complacency hits everyone, me included, no matter at what stage of Christian life you’re in.
The church in Laodicea lost that passion. Jesus came with a warning.
• The environment they lived in wasn’t helping. They live in a very comfortable environment, and it affected them.
• Laodicea was a very wealthy city, founded by Antiochus II and named after his wife Laodice. The city was located where three highways converged, so it was highly commercial.
• Three things they were well-known for, and Jesus uses it in His words of remedy.
1. They were rich (its banking industry)
2. They were well-adorned (famous for its manufacture of black wool), and
3. They have a medical school that produced eye ointment .
Frankly, to live in such a place means you have little needs.
• That’s what they say, “I do not need a thing.” (v.17)
• Singapore is like Laodicea. We are blessed with everything we need. Comparative to our neighbouring countries and what we see happening these past weeks (in China, Myanmar), we are very blessed. We are very comfortable.
• The danger is we do not feel a need for God. Unless we face a problem, we can easily slip into complacency and an easy life.
The only negative thing about the place was its lack of an adequate water supply.
• The city’s water has to be piped in from 10km out, from the hot springs of another city Hierapolis in the NE. The water flows through a canal and by the time it reaches Laodicea, it is lukewarm.
• In the SE about 16km away is the city of Colossae, known for its pure mineral water.
• Both the cities offer something that is beneficial to the people – the hot springs good for health, or and the cool waters are refreshing to drink.
• But Laodicea has only lukewarm water. You do not have hot springs, or cold waters.
So is the church, the Lord says. You have nothing to offer.
• You are not doing anything that brings benefit or blessing to the people.
• The “going through the motion” Christian life blesses no one. In fact, it may be a stumbling block to others.
• In fact, the Lord says it makes Him sick. “I want to spit you out of my mouth.”
• It’s repulsive to Him. It’s like drinking a warm can of coca cola on a hot day.
This is one of the strongest emotions expressed by the Lord in the Scriptures.
• Going through the motions make Christ sick. He wants us to be serious with our faith.
• The comfortable environment does affect us. We are usually victims of the circumstances we are in.
• During school days, I’m serious about Christ, I read Christian books, attend Christian groups. In NS your routine changed completely. Little time for prayer. Got home, very tired to do anything else.
• When you go into the workplace, start a career, everything change again. Then you start a family, and you have to factor a lot of other things in.
We come to church, and we take things for granted. We are pampered.
• We come to an air-conditioned place to worship. We have comfortable seats, electricity keep this place running, nice PowerPoint slides. We have different versions of the Bible in our hands, we have scores of Christian bookstores, we can get whatever books or commentaries we want, we can surf the web and get tons of Christian knowledge.