Summary: Of all the seven churches this one is best known and the Lord called them to repent that they would have revival.
Laodicea, The Lukewarm Church
Here we come to the letter to the seventh church, this is probably the one most often spoken of. Those who believe these letters represent different church ages, they say this is more like today than any of the other churches spoken of. Even those who never attend church seem to remember the lukewarm church that caused our Lord to say they made Him nauseous.
This letter too ends with those words “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.” So it is to you and I, as well as the church at Laodicea. We need to take heed that we do not fall into the trap or category of this lukewarm church.
I. The One Speaking To Them: (v. 14)
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
These things saith the Amen. As I have said before the word amen means so be it or it is saying what you are hearing is truth. When we amen in the church it is saying we believe that to be true. Jesus was the truth incarnate. In John 14:6, he declares himself to be the way, the truth and the life.
He was saying thus saith the truth incarnate, that is the true witness. The word witness as I have said before is Martyr. And we all recognize that a martyr is one that believes so strongly in the truth of his mission he is willing to die to prove it.
“The beginning of the creation of God.” He was saying I am the God that created all things in the beginning. Remember how John introduced Jesus in his gospel?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
(Elab on the eternal existence of Jesus.) He was with God because he was God.
II. Their Lukewarm Condition: (vs. 15, 16)
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Again I say this is probably the most widely known letter and church of them all because people remember vividly what Jesus says concerning their lack of zeal. And we all can relate to something not cold and yet not hot and how to you and I it affects somewhat the taste.
They will be forever known as the lukewarm church. And of course ever church and every church member should measure himself or herself on the basis of this church. I have to believe this why the Lord says that whosoever has ears, that is, spiritual-hearing take heed lest you fall into this category.
Several years ago, at a ministers school, I asked another elder about his ministry in our northern Virginia church. What did you have to cope with that made your ministry difficult. I was thinking in lines of other denominations. When I was in Anniston Al. it seemed we had a Church of Christ on every corner. In Kansas we had mostly Methodist and all types of Independent churches, but no Baptist.
When I asked the Elder the question, his answer caught me off guard; he said the biggest problem was apathy. After I thought about I said to myself how true that is here as well as in Virginia.
Here was the heart of the problem at Laodicea they just didn’t care. Jesus just wasn’t that important to them, there were too many other things that they had to think about. They had lost their zeal and their drive they were going through the motions but without feelings.
How zealous am I? This should be the question that we all ask ourselves. How do I measure up? Do I fall into this category of lukewarmness? I feel that all of us have to fight this apathy all the time and especially today with so many other things that take up our time. Is it any wonder that the Lord said, I’d rather you were hot or cold, being half committed to serving the Lord causes him to be sick and he said I’ll spew you out.
III. They Thought They Had It All: (v. 17)
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Look at their declaration of themselves they felt they had it all.