Summary: We should demonstrate our faith in such a way that we are of a use to the Lord.
June 8, 2008 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We should demonstrate our faith in such a way that we are of a use to the Lord.
Focus Passage: Revelation 3:14-20
Supplemental Passage: (1 Timothy 6:17 NASB) Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
Introduction: Laodicea was a very, very wealthy city, founded by Antiochus II and named after his wife Laodice. The city was strategically located where three highways converged, thus it was highly commercial. It was well known for its banking industry, its manufacture of black wool and a medical school that produced eye ointment. The wealth in the city had been used to build theaters, a huge stadium, lavish public baths and fabulous shopping centers. It was a great place to live. The land of opportunity. Sound familiar? The only real negative about the place was its lack of an adequate water supply.
I. Vs 14 – No commendation. All the other churches get a little praise.
a. The Amen… says this – In the Greek, this phrase means firm, stable, sure, established and trustworthy. What point is Jesus trying to get across? He’s saying, "Don’t kid yourselves, what I’m about to say may shock you, but you can take it to the bank!"
b. The faithful and true Witness… says this – Who is on trial? This church! Who is the key witness? Jesus Christ. Thus, there can be no excuses, it’s time for an honest examination followed by honest repentance and a genuine desire for a change of life.
c. The Beginning of the creation of God, says this – Jesus is the origin, the cause, the Creator of all things (cf. Col 1:16-17). He is the Creator of this earth and the things in it. Unfortunately, the Christians at Laodicea had grown to love and put their faith in the “things” of world, not their creator!
II. Vs 15 - This is perhaps the most familiar passage in the book of Revelation. Many, many lessons and sermons have been given from this text. Lukewarmness is a characteristic which is most despised among Christ’s churches, even today!
a. Have you ever wondered why He would prefer them to be cold? He is using a local, well known problem relating to their water supply to allegorize a spiritual meaning. Laodicea, as rich as it was, had a serious water problem. The city’s water was “piped in” from six miles out. It came to them along an aqueduct. By the time it arrived it was lukewarm. The city of Hierapolis, just seven miles north of Laodicea, was famous for its hot springs. Colosee, less than ten miles away, was known for its cool water. What was Jesus saying to them in His desire that they be cold or hot? He’s saying their spiritual condition is of no benefit. He would rather they be spiritually beneficial like a refreshing drink of cold water or like the soothing warmth of the hot springs! What’s the message? If we are simply going through the motions, if our heart is not in it, if we are not living and working for Christ everyday of our lives, we are of no benefit to Him!
III. Vs. 16 - a church’s lukewarmness makes Jesus sick at His stomach! Jesus says that because of their lukewarmness, because they are of no spiritual benefit, He will spit them out. The Greek word here means “to vomit.” John could have used another Greek phrase that means simply “to spit.” If a church of our Lord has become so passionless, so indifferent… if a church of Christ has become of no spiritual benefit, if we as individuals have become of no spiritual benefit, it makes Jesus so sick, that He wants to vomit!
IV. Vs 17 - They had become infected with the love of material things. Perhaps the most dangerous point made here is the fact that they are so “caught-up” in their wealth, they were unaware of their sinful state – they were dead and didn’t know it!
a. Poor – there was plenty of money here, but they were spiritually poor.
b. Blind – known for it’s eye salve, yet all of the salve in the world wouldn’t cure their spiritual blindness.
c. Naked – known for the finest wool in the world, all of which couldn’t cloth their spiritual nakedness.
V. VS. 18 - If Jesus were to give us advise today, do you think it prudent to follow it? The truth is, He is giving us advise today, we are all reading it together. What was His advise to them and any today who are “dead and don’t know it?” To buy from Him! Jesus provides the only true cure for spiritual sickness. It can’t be found in banks, goods, medicine or in any worldly treasure. A true cure can only be found in Christ! How do we do that? Let’s continue with our text.