Summary: When the Church adapts to the World
ROOM TEMPERATURE CHRISTIANS - REV. 3:14-21
This morning we come to the 7th and final church to which John wrote. We have only looked at 5 in preparation for our upcoming revival because Smyrna & Philadelphia were churches to which no criticism was directed.
Philadelphia(brotherly love) preceeds Laodicia. Prophetically it represents that great time in Church history where missions was such a strong passion in the heart of the body of Christ. All denominations were striving to win souls to the uttermost parts of the earth. Laodicia represents the church of the last days. THE APOSTATE CHURCH. The church that has fallen away from the Lord.
1) Age in which the majority of the people connected with Christianity hold beliefs such as the Bible is full of errors, there are no absolute values, all good people will go to heaven, there is no hell or devil, Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin and the resurrection and the rapture are just nice storys and nothing else.
REDBOOK SURVEY of American Church leaders: 59% reject the Virgin Birth; 71% don’t believe in life after death, 54% don’t believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus; and 98% deny the personal return of the Lord. HOW DOES THAT MAKE GOD FEEL?
MINISTER VISITED a lady in a retirement home. As she lay in her hospital style bed he spoke with her. Beside her bed was a dish full of peanuts. He ate one and then another and before he knew it he looked down and the dish was empty. ’I am so sorry he confessed, I ate all the peanuts you had beside your bed’. ’Peanuts, I can’t eat peanuts anymore, I just suck the chocolate off of them’. THE CHURCH OF THE LAST DAY MAKES JESUS SICK. It should make us sick to see the spiritual deteriation that has occurred in churches and in the lives of professing Christians.
Look at with same outline we have used with all the churches we have studied.
THE PATIENT (14) And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
1. Laodicea was located 75 miles directly east of Ephesus in a tri-city area which included both Colossae and Hierapolis. It was located where three Roman roads intersected. It was a very wealthy city(ruins of beautiful homes still to today). The wealthiest of the 7 cities. It was the banking center of Asia as well as a vigorous trade area. It was known for two special things:
a. Manufacturing a special black glossy cloth: Laodocians liked the color black and were universally known for wearing that color. They raised a breed of black sheep in the area that provided the wool.
a. Medical school that made a special salve for the eyes: It was developed from mud from a volcanic mountain side and was shipped all over the Roman Empire. Thousands came to that area to the many health resorts because of hot mineral springs.
The CHEMICAL ANALYSIS done since has revealed that there was nothing special about that clay at all but somebody made a living saying there was: THIGH CREAM
1. Large Jewish population: know this because they would send a large temple tax back to Jerusalem each year. Laodocian Jews always paid with gold and it caused the gold supply to begin to run out in the city. They were ordered to pay with other currency but continued anyway and the tax was confiscated. Records show it weighed 20 lbs(each 1/2 shekel for every male over 21 representing over 7500 men)
a. A Temple to Zeus/Jupiter was in the city
a. Ruins of three different churches found there: Beginning of church splits.
1. LAODOCEA means Laos ’people’ and dicea ’opinion/custom’. ’The opinion or custom of the people’. What characterizes the apostate church in the last days? Saying in Laodicea ’the voice of the people is as the voice of God’. What is right or wrong? Let’s take a poll.
JUDGES 21:25 In those days there was no king; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
MARKED 20th CENTURY: Movement of our society from a Republic to a Democracy: Difference is that one says there are absolute standards of right and wrong while other responds to simple majority opinion. Pure democracy states that a person has a right to make their own choices, do what they think is right and no one has the right to tell them there is anything wrong with their choice. Church has fallen into the same trap.
THREE BRANCHES in our government: Legislative - Judicial - Executive
1. Makes the laws 2. Evaluates the law 3. Executes the law
We are part of the Executive branch of the kingdom of God. Not our job to make new laws or to question the laws already made. We are to take them and apply them to our lives.