Summary: Part 7 of 7 in our summer series exploring the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation 2-3. Today's final message in the series examines the letter to the Church at Laodicea.
OPENING: Approach text with humility bc parts of our text VERY familiar. Pray today is that familiarity will not lead us to contentment. BC I believe God has a WORD for each of us today!
READ REVELATION 3:14-22.
BACKGROUND: Laodicea was located in the Lycus River Valley. Really was a tri-cities area (Laodicea, Hieropolis, Colossae). Extremely wealthy city and it’s fame had spread for 3 primary reasons... 1) it was like the Swiss Bank of the time period. 2) famous for a breed of sheep that produced extremely fine and desirable black wool 3) their proximity to hot springs across the river made them a type of medical center, famous for a specially mixed eye salve. So this city had every reason to be confident in who they were but like city... like church... this church had become self-confident...
INTRODUCTION: Has my relationship with God actually CHANGED the way I LIVE?
I. CHRIST IS FAITHFUL WHEN WE ARE FAITHLESS! (v 14)
The Amen - Is 65:16 = God of Truth (OT=valid, binding) and is reinforced with the 2nd desc faithful and true witness. 3rd the beginning of God’s creation not that he was first... but rather He is the One who began God’s creation. He is the first & the last... beginning & end. in contrast with this church, Christ is completely reliable and faithful even though they have not proven to be so. Even in though they could be argued are in the unhealthiest condition... faithless... Christ invites them to return...
II. CHRIST IS NOT INTERESTED IN THOSE WHO FAKE IT? (vv 15-18) I know your works... p
v 15 - Their deeds are summed up in the accusation... neither hot nor cold. Imagery of their water supply drawn from hot springs of Hieropolis 6mi North arrived at city lukewarm. Colossae 10 miles had cold, refreshing springs. Hot water heals... cold water refreshes... lukewarm water is useless for either purpose. This church was providing neither refreshment for the spiritually weary nor healing for the spiritually sick. Comment - “More hope for the antagonistic than for the cooly indifferent. Walvoord, “There is no one farther from the truth in Christ than the one who make an idle profession without real faith.” Christ is not interested in those who fake it.
v 16 - Lukewarm = Chiiaros (only here in NT) underlines the trouble... Christ is not interested in those who fake it! not a final state but a very strong warning. Lukewarm living is not to be tolerated... in fact, it cannot be tolerated before a Holy God. Ineffective churches... ineffective Christians are distasteful to the Lord! EX Starbucks (hot, cold, neither)
v 17 - Church says (habitually, pres tense) I am rich... (contrast Smyrna)... self-reliant city. In AD 60 earthquake, the city recovered w/o any relief from outside resources. It’s a great attitude that can be disastrous if carried over into spiritual things. The church in Laodicea saw herself as wealthy and there is an article before wretched (the wretched), pitiful = in need of mercy... hints of their banking, med school & clothing manufacturers... poor, blind, naked. Christ is not interested in those who fake it.
v 18 - Christ is their remedy. Notice the irony through vv 17-18. From Him buy gold refined in fire = real wealth... White clothes compared to the reputation of the city to making clothing from black wool. Nakedness = shame. Eye-salve for the eyes = Christ alone gives true sight.
III. CHRIST DESIRES REPENTANCE TO DEEPEN OUR RELATIONSHIP (vv 19-22)
Those = as many as (no exceptions) Ref. Kindness of God that leads to repentance. (Ro 2:4)
Here I am... (Behold) vivd... John sees Christ literally right there standing at the door. Tense implies not a standard knock but a persistent one in hopes of a response. Verse used for evangelism... in context, it is self-deluded members who are being addressed. in their
To this point letter addressed to entire church... note transition now to individual appeal.
Tender plea rooted in love that anyone who responds Christ will enter. in their blind self-sufficiency they forgot the Lord. So Jesus asks permission to enter. Regardless of where you are spiritually... REPENTANCE deepens our relationship with Christ!