Summary: Laodicea The Church of Lackluster Faith
Laodicea The Church of Lackluster Faith
Revelation 3:14"Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen--the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation:15"I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! 16But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17You say, `I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18I advise you to buy gold from me--gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19I am the one who corrects and disciplines everyone I love. Be diligent and turn from your indifference. 20"Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends. 21I will invite everyone who is victorious to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. 22Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches."
Laodicea lay forty-three miles southeast of Philadelphia, and about a hundred miles from Ephesus. It had many characteristics, all of which Christ used so that the Church here would understand its plight before Him. Laodicea was a great commercial town world famous for its medicines, and black sheep. It was also a royally wealthy town that in addition to Ephesus and Pergamos was named an assize town. Like Philadelphia, and Sardis in 17 AD, Laodicea had also been destroyed and supplied with support from the Roman Empire Tiberius. Unlike Philadelphia and Sardis though Laodicea had another great earthquake in 60 AD. This earthquake also destroyed this town. This time; however, they did not ask for support from the Roman Empire, instead they choose to rebuilt the town on their own. This led them to believe that they could do anything by themselves. It lead to there demise ultimately spiritually. When we choose to lean on our own understanding and strength, we ultimately end up denying the One who gave us that wealth. It is as King Nebuchadnezzar who thought he was something great, until Daniel revealed through the explanation of a dream that the king thought he was something great, while God had shown him through that particular dream that it what the King of Kings who had put Nebuchadnezzar on the throne not any man, but the King. This resulted in the Nebuchadnezzar being lead out into the wild and him being driven out into the wild. (Daniel 4) We have a choice just as the so called Christians at Laodicea to either truly embrace God, or as King Nebuchadnezzar to embrace ourselves and embrace the punishment for our sins, and the chastisement of God that comes with it.
Vs.14, “"Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen--the faithful and true witness the ruler of God’s creation.”
“Amen” This is a direct reference to Isaiah 65:16 where God is described as the God of Amen. It may also come from Jesus statements verily, verily, which are Amen. The word Amen is a word, which was used to affirm and to guarantee a statement as absolutely true and absolutely trustworthy. For Jesus to use the word Amen here in the introduction is to assert His Claim that what He says to us is the truth from God Himself thus the reader of this letter ignores it as his own peril.
“The faithful and true witness” Once again, Christ is asserting His claim to the truth of His Work among the church here. Literally Jesus is making reference to John 14:6 where Jesus says, “I am the Way, Truth and the Life.” He is indeed the truth, which the world may deny, but those who are born again by the Spirit and the Word know is true, because of His work in there lives, of redeeming them by His Cross and ultimately changing them from a person who was focused on themselves into a person that is focused on Himself.
“The ruler of God’s creation.” Ruler in the New King James Version is translated beginning. The Greek word for beginning is Arche, which does not mean that Christ was the first person God created; but rather that Christ Himself is the source or origin of creation (Revelation 22:13) Through His power everything was created. (John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2) This particular church had a lot of similarities with the church at Colossae, which was not far at all from Laodicea. In fact commentators have said that it very may well be that the heresy at Colossae has spread into Laodicea causing this church to be as it was when Christ addressed it. The reason why they say that is because the main problem with the church at Colossae was gnosticism (from the greek word gnosis, or knowledge) that taught that Christ was a created being, one of a series of emanations from God. Its followers claimed that they possessed a secret, higher spiritual knowledge above and beyond the simple word of Scripture. Paul wrote to the church in Colossae to combat this heresy in Colossians 1:15-17, “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see--kings kingdoms, rulers, and authorities. Everything has been created through him and for him. He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together.”