Summary: This is on the church in Laodicea.
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Today we look at a Church with a knock on the door. This is not a fun church. Barclay says of the church in Laodicea, “Laodicea has the grim distinction of being the only Church of which the Risen Christ has nothing good to say.” Donald Metz observes, They were “in a cocoon of spineless religiosity.” Not a ringing endorsement.
Read Revelation 3:14-22.
Not a warm fuzzy. Amid all this negative talk, there is a bright glimmer of hope.
I. The TRUTH of our condition.
The truth isn’t always pleasant. Lukewarmness isn’t pleasant.
A. We think we are OKAY.
We are a self-sufficient culture.
1. We think we are RICH.
Laodicea was a wealthy city. Laodicea was a great commercial and administrative center. They manufactured clothes and carpets from black wool.
We are a rich nation. The US is the richest nation in the world, by far.
2. We think we have PROSPERED.
Laodicea was independently wealthy. Thanks to their industry. They also had a renowned medical school.
America has prospered. We have been wealthy for a long time. People flock here to go to school, start business, and other things.
3. We think we need NOTHING.
Because of this prosperity, they thought they needed nothing.
The church had bought into this wealth and prosperity idea. They were under the impression that they didn’t need anything.
B. We are not OKAY.
The sad thing is that this church wasn’t okay. And neither are we when we try to do it on our own. What we see as our strengths are often our weakest points. Someone who says, “I am always a positive person,” is usually a negative person.
1. We are POOR.
What a contrast this is to the Church in Smyrna. To them Jesus said, “’I know … your poverty (but you are rich).”
The economic wealth of Laodicea didn’t translate into spiritual wealth. The size of our bank account doesn’t determine our spiritual health.
2. We are BLIND.
The medical school in Laodicea was famous for its eye salve. Numerous eye ailments were cured by this wonderful eye salve.
Again the strength in medical terms doesn’t translate to spiritual terms. Fanny Crosby was blind, but she loved the Lord. She wrote over 8,000 songs.
3. We are NAKED.
People stand in front of bulging closet and proclaim, “I don’t have a thing to wear!” One of the strengths of Laodicea was clothing manufacturing.
An Armani suit means nothing before the Lord.
II. The SOLUTION for our condition.
Amid the dire words of this letter, there is hope. We are not a hopeless lot.
A. Who the SOURCE is.
The source of the solution to our condition is Christ. It is not ourselves, our prosperity or anything else. In verse 18, Christ offers true replacements for the phony answers of the world.
1. True WEALTH comes from CHRIST.
Gold is a symbol of wealth and purity. Isaiah 55:1 says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
2. True SIGHT comes from CHRIST.
One time a preacher sympathetically remarked to Fanny Crosby, "I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you." She replied quickly, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?" "Why?" asked the surprised clergyman. "Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!"
3. True CLOTHING comes from CHRIST.
To be clothed in white is a symbol of purity that comes only through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
B. What we should DO.
What should we do? This church didn’t deserve this chance, and neither do we. We have it because God loves us.
1. He is KNOCKING.
Jesus is knocking softly and gently. Do you hear it? Hes isn’t going to kick the door in. He isn’t going to pound on the door either. He won’t force his way in.
2. Answer the DOOR.
When I was a kid, I was thrilled when I was old enough to answer the door. Simply answer the door.
3. Restore the RELATIONSHIP.
What is the benefit for answering the door? A restored relationship with your Creator. To say that he “will come in to [us] and eat with” us, is to say he will leisurely spend time with us. This won’t be a hurried lunch on the run. We will have fellowship with him. We will restore the relationship.
Is he knocking on your heart’s door today? Answer the door and restore the relationship. He is waiting, patiently, for you.