Summary: The modern church has become the Laodicean church, lukewarm...
Revelation 3: 14-19
Luke warm Christians
Last week we talked about what our resposibilty is as christians, now that the elections are over (mostly). We could gripe and complain, gloat and rejoice. We could be pessimistic or optimistic, but what we should be is praying. We are told to pray for our leaders! We don’t have to agree with every thing they do, but we should pray for them.
This week we continue to wander through my mind. We consider more of these not so random thoughts that God has given me. This week we are going to be talking about the church. Not Calvary baptist in particular, but the modern church in general. The church as a whole has become what Jesus speaks against in the book of the Revelation chapter 3 verses 14-19. The church has become the Laodicean church. Lets read verses 14-19 together...
"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; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
The Laodicean church is of no benefit to Christ. Harsh words, but true words. Jesus talks about this church being luke warm, but He wishes they were cold or hot. some people have missed the mark with verse saying it means the same as the words recorded in Joshua 24:15 "15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Hot meaning serving the Lord and cold not. This is not the case. A little history about Laodicea, It was a very wealthy city, known for its fine black wool and it’s medical facility, where a well proven eye salve was produced, but it had a very poor water supply. A few miles away were two cities known for thier water, Hierapolis known for its hot water springs, which were very therepuetic. Colosee was less than ten miles away and was known for it’s cold refreshing water for drinking. Laodiceas water was piped in from an aquaduct about six miles away, and by the time the water reached the city it was luke warm, not of thereputic value and of no great drinking value. It was like the church at Laodicea of no benefit to the Lord. When we think of a luke warm church today, what comes to your mind? How about a church that goes through the motions. They gather to worship and mindlessly go through the motions. There is no heart, no zeal, no focus in their worship. When they sing, it’s just blah! When they pray, study, and remember our Savior at the Lord’s Table, their minds simply wander. They don’t worry about spreading the gospel, visiting the sick, carrying for the those in need – they don’t do anything for Christ! Would that be a lukewarm church? Look at what it says in verse 15. I know your works, I wish that they were cold or hot!
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! I don’t know about you, but that thought scares me!
How does this condition of lukewarmness really make Jesus feel? Let’s look at the next verse in our text. "16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." The church makes Jesus want to vomit! I wonder what Jesus would think of the church today? I wonder if He would be impressed by the great monuments built in His name, that house lukewarm congregations? I wonder if He would be pleased with churches that have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, while people in the community are hungry and losing thier homes? I wonder if He would enjoy the singing of the well rehearsed professional sounding choirs in their fancy robes, while the congregation is entertained? I wonder How he would like to be present for the congregational singing of His praises from lifeless lips? I wonder how He would be moved as the church joined in prayer while people in thier mind were planning the events of later today, or wondering what the football score is? I wonder if He would want to hear the sermons coming from the pulpit that tickle the ears of men, and make them feel good about them selves?