Sermons

Summary: Encouraging the Church not to slam her doors in the face of Christ with complacency and spiritual blindness.

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HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A STRAIGHT RIVER? CANALS ARE STRAIGHT, BUT ALL RIVERS SEEM TO BE CROOKED. WE WOULD CALL THIS "MEANDERING." WHY ARE RIVERS CROOKED? THEY ARE CROOKED BECAUSE THE NATURAL TENDENCY OF A RIVER IS TO TAKE THE EASIEST WAY AROUND ANY OBSTACLE.

SO RIVERS ARE ALWAYS CROOKED, AND THEY ALWAYS RUN DOWNHILL. SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE RIVERS. THEY ARE ALWAYS WANTING THINGS IN LIFE BY THE EASIEST MEANS POSSIBLE AND THEY ARE USUALLY LAZY AND TOO IMMATURE TO PUT FORTH MUCH EFFORT INTO WALKING WITH GOD.

FOR THEM IT’S EASIER TO WATCH TV THAN TO PRAY AND EASIER TO READ THEIR NEWSPAPER THAN THEIR BIBLE. IT IS EASIER TO SIT THROUGH A BALLGAME THAT LAST THREE HOURS AND GOES INTO OVERTIME THAN IT IS TO SIT THROUGH A ONE HOUR CHURCH SERVICE OR BIBLE STUDY.

THIS TYPE OF PERSON ALSO REMINDS ME OF ANOTHER SAYING WHICH LIKENED PEOPLE IN CHURCH TO PEOPLE IN AN AIRPORT TERMINAL. IT WAS SAID THAT MOST PEOPLE IN THE PEWS ARE LIKE PEOPLE SITTING IN AN AIRPLANE TERMINAL.

THEY COME TO THE AIRPORT AND GO DIRECTLY TO ONE OF THE MANY SEATS IN THE TERMINAL AND SIT DOWN. THEN THEY LISTEN TO ALL THE ANNOUNCEMENTS OF ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES WHILE, AT THE SAME TIME, LOOKING AROUND AND OBSERVING ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE SCURRYING AROUND THROUGHOUT THE CONCOURSE.

WHILE ALL THIS IS GOING ON, THEY JUST SIT THERE AND IMAGINE THEY ARE REALLY IN ON, AND A PART OF, ALL THE ACTION GOING ON AROUND THEM. SADLY, THEY NEVER TAKE THE TIME TO GET UP TO PURCHASE A TICKET, BOARD ANY OF THE PLANES OR GO ANYWHERE!

I WOULDN’T CALL THIS LAZINESS AS MUCH AS I WOULD CALL IT JUST PLAIN APATHY! APATHY MEANS TO BE UNCONCERNED, INDIFFERENT, DULL, AND PASSIVE. IT IS ONE WHO SHOWS LACK OF EMOTION OR A LACK OF INTEREST.

WHY DOES THIS SOUND MORE AND MORE LIKE THE CHURCH TODAY? WEALTHY, PROSPEROUS, SUCCESSFUL, AND YET SPIRITUALLY BANKRUPT! CHURCHES THAT POSSES BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS ON PRIME PROPERTY THAT SIT LOCKED UP AND EMPTY MOST OF THE WEEK.

SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND THE STATE OF MIND THAT SAYS EITHER "WE CAN DO IT ALL OURSELVES WITHOUT GOD" OR "IT’S NOT ALL THAT IMPORTANT. WE CAN WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE AND JUST THROW SOMETHING TOGETHER!"

LAODICEA WAS THE PERFECT MODEL OF THIS KIND OF PASSIVE, INDIFFERENT CHURCH. BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED IN "BARE MINIMUM STANDARD" MINISTRY IT IS NOT HARD TO GUESS WHY CHRIST REFERRED TO THEM AS WRETCHED, PITIFUL, POOR, BLIND, AND NAKED!

LAODICEA WAS AN IMPORTANT CENTER OF TRADE AND COMMUNICATION. ALSO, IT WAS AN EXTREMELY WEALTHY CITY DUE TO ITS PRODUCTION OF A FINE QUALITY GLOSSY BLACK WOOL. BECAUSE OF HER WEALTH LAODICEA ALSO HAD A HUGE BANKING INDUSTRY.

MONEY WAS SO ABUNDANT THAT AFTER THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE OF 17 AD, THE PEOPLE REFUSED GOVERNMENT HELP IN REBUILDING THE CITY, CHOOSING RATHER TO DO IT ENTIRELY BY THEMSELVES.

LAODICEA WAS MORE THAN JUST SELF-SUFFICIENT IN THE REALM OF MONEY. THEY ALSO HAD A SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND WAS FAMOUS FOR THEIR SPECIAL OINTMENT THAT COULD CURE DISEASES AND INFECTIONS IN THE EYE.

WITH WEALTH AND A PRIZED MEDICAL INDUSTRY IT WAS NOT SURPRISING THAT THEY WORSHIPPED "MEN-KAROU," THE GOD OF HEALING. THEY ALSO WORSHIPPED ZEUS, AS THE SUPREME GOD.


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