Summary: The seventh letter by Christ to the churches of Revelation. A look at the church of tomorrow.
Laodicea: A Church of Unconcern
There was in Laodicea, the spirit of indifference, apathy, and unconcern. Reading this letter is like looking into a mirror and seeing our own face-our own time. We are moving into the spirit of the Laodicean age. The word Laodicea means “the rule of people” or “the rights of the people.” It speaks of a time when the church will become in love with its own strength, power, and the rights of the people. It is a time when the authority of God and the authority of the Word of God are ignored and the rights of the individual are magnified. We are seeing much of that happen today, right here in the DFW area.
Jesus had nothing good to say about this church. Even when He speaks for those whom he loves, the word love is not agape. This church has been so rebellious against God that His rebuke and His message are given out of a love that means affection rather than a deep love. We need to remember that when one loves another, that love usually brings discipline with it.
In speaking to the church, He first identified himself as “the Amen.” Amen is the last word one can say. When everything else has been said, the only thing left to say is Amen. It is a word of finality, certainty, and authority. He is the final word, the absolute truth of God. He will have the last word.
I. Indifference (vv. 15-16)
a. Lukewarm is the worst possible condition anyone could be in.
i. It is the condition of apathy or indifference.
ii. In examining it more closely, we find that lukewarm means, “without enthusiasm.”
iii. It means “criticism without compassion.”
b. This is typical of the indifferent.
i. They are more concerned for their own comfort and ideas.
ii. Form such person criticism flows freely without compassion.
iii. It describes one who is without conviction of sin.
c. They can hear sermon after sermon and attend worship service after worship service, and there is no sense of sin-no conviction of their need of god in their hearts.
i. When you come to church and hear God’s word proclaim, unless you are a person of unconcern, you should feel convicted that just maybe you are not doing enough or maybe you are doing something wrong, or just maybe not doing anything at all.
d. For those at Laodicea, they were self-centered, self occupied, self satisfied, self sufficient, and self confident.
i. They were proud and boastful of SELF, not GOD.
e. They had no zeal for he Word of God, but they did not deny it.
i. They completely compromised the things of God.
ii. They were lukewarm
f. The people at Laodicea could understand Jesus’ words clearly.
i. There were mineral springs in Laodicea where people would come to bathe for health purposes.
ii. Those springs had the taste of mineral content.
iii. The water was lukewarm and was nauseating.
g. That is how Jesus described these people.
i. They were nauseating to God.
ii. A lukewarm Christian is a contradiction of terms.
iii. Like dry water, or cold heat, or clean dirt.
iv. It doesn’t make sense.
h. They didn’t deny the gospel; they were just indifferent to it.
i. They knew that sinner were lost; they just made no attempt to win them.
ii. Isn’t that just like many people today?
iii. Verse 16 clearly tells us that Jesus cannot stand that condition.
iv. He will remove the opportunity for the church o be a light bearer.
II. Independence (v. 17)
a. This church was independent and arrogant.
i. Laodicea was known for its wealth.
ii. The whole attitude of Laodicea was that they had everything they needed.
iii. They did not need anything or anyone, including God.
iv. Isn’t hat they attitude of America today?
v. We do not need God
vi. We have it made.
vii. If you don’t believe that, just watch the television and see what these other countries think of America.
b. When was the last time you read about someone starving to death in America?
i. We are an affluent people.
ii. We do not need anything.
c. Whenever we find a church that feels it does not need revival, that is the very one that needs it.
d. The same is true for a Christian.
i. The word wretched in this verse means, “pressed with a burden.”
ii. It is not the burden of poverty but the burden of wealth.
e. The word miserable means, “pitiable.”
i. Blind means “nearsighted.”
ii. They could not see beyond themselves; their vision was opaque.
iii. They lack light and vision.
iv. Here as a church that had nothing.
III. Instruction (vv. 18-19)