Summary: Lack of zeal for the Gospel and Christian faith is a danger for those who are possessed of wealth and feel self-sufficient. Christ calls us from the cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches to restored spiritual vision, real safety and true wealth.
Revelation 3__4-22 the Lukewarm Church
"Blessed are the Lukewarm."
Christians profess to follow religiously Jesus Christ. If that is so, then surely "Blessed are the Lukewarm" must have been one of his sayings for there are so many, many professing Christians who show no enthusiasm or service. Many who list their faith as Christian live no differently than the pagans around them.
That is the approach the church of Laodicea took in their discipleship. They could their church attachment but didn’t actually practice thje faith; didn’t actually believe it; didn’t get excited about it. "Blessed are the Lukewarm."
The world wants our religion and faith to be lukewarm because then we won’t create problems. Then we don’t take a stand against abortion or sexual immorality or homosexual practice, or government that wastes our nation’s resources and represses righteous teaching and practice.
At the time this letter was written – the Lukeward church didn’t take a stand against emperor worship or participation in pagan feasts or theological heresies. In our own time when by government decree and peer pressure political correctness the Lukewarm church doesn’t object when we are muzzled by the law, not allowed to tell the truths that Jesus Christ taught us. The lukewarm won’t take a stand for the authority of Scripture.
Mmost of us here were raised in the faith and surrounded by the faith. We have Bibles, we attend church on Sunday. We have been baptized and catechized in Church and Sunday School but spiritually euthanized in the culture rendering us impotent to pass on the faith to others around us. We are so used to being hemmed in that our faith doesn’t stir us and excite us and move us.
"Blessed are the Lukewarm." Notice that is not what Jesus said.
The letter from Christ to the "angel" that is bishop or evangelist of the Church at Loadicea started with "to the angel of the church ..." and ends with "... what the Spirit says to the churches." It was written for a local church in Asia Minor, it is meant for all the churches of Asia Minor, and it is meant for all churches of all times and all places.
Note two features of the city. First, Laodicea was a rich and prosperous city. In A.D. 60 an earthquake virtually destroyed the city. Laodicea wanted no financial aid from Rome. Instead, the wealthy citizens rebuilt their city. Laodicea had three sources of wealth: it was a banking center; it was known for its soft, raven-black wool, and it had a famous school of medicine that developed a cream for curing eye diseases.
The second feature of the city of Laodicea was its lack of a water supply. From hot springs six miles away they had to pipe in water that was neither hot nor cold but lukewarm when it arrived in the city.
Jesus is the author of this letter. He identifies Himself as "the Amen" (Rev 3:14). What He was about to say He says with the authority of God and as the messenger of God. He is the "Amen" so the church had best pay careful attention to what He is saying.
Jesus also speaks as "the faithful and true witness" (Rev 3:14). In the church of Pergamum, Antipas is called "my faithful witness" (Rev 2:13) because he was put to death for his faith. Likewise, Jesus is the faithful witness to the Father because He is the Lamb Who was slain. Jesus is the true witness. "True" means He is faithful and true to His promises; He is dependable and trustworthy; He is genuine and real.
In the Greek these are three separate terms: the faithful, the true, the witness. What a message to the church of Laodicea. Jesus is everything the church in Laodicea is not. This church is not faithful to Christ. She is not true to Christ. And her witness to Christ is almost nonexistent.
Finally, Jesus speaks as "the ruler of God’s creation" (Rev 3:14). This title should be well-known to the church in Laodicea because of the letter Paul wrote to their sister church in Colosse:
(Col 1:15-16) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (16) For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
Jesus is the ruler and the beginning of God’s creation. Again, this is a message to the church of Laodicea. In their wealth and prosperity they thought of themselves as in control; Jesus is telling them that He alone controls creation; in fact, He is the source of their wealth and prosperity.
Jesus said in His evaluation of this church: "I know your deeds" (Rev 3:15). . Nothing is hid from the sight of Him Whose eyes are like blazing fire (Rev 1:14).