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Summary: John 3:16 is known to all. Other 3:16 passages in the New Testament teach us important things about Jesus as well. This is Revelation 3:16

(adapted from a sermon series by Tom Ellsworth)

SERIES: “DISCOVERING JESUS: The Other 3:16’s”

TEXT: REVELATION 3:14-22

TITLE: “THE CHALLENGE OF JESUS”

OPEN: A. I’m a fan of the “Rocky” movies

1. As a former Golden Gloves boxer, I can tell you that the fight scenes are a bit over-dramatized

but I’ve enjoyed the exploration of the characters and the story lines that go with the movies

2. One of my favorites is Rocky 3

a. Rocky has been the heavyweight champ for several years now

--He’s married Adrian

b. He’s moved from poverty and obscurity to wealth and fame

--Where Rocky once lived in a run-down neighborhood, he now lives in a Hollywood-style

mansion

c. He’s defended his title 10 times since winning it from Apollo Creed

--As the movie opens, there is a montage of Rocky handily defeating all title challengers

d. In parallel, there is also a montage of another fighter – Clubber Lang – who is systematically

destroying everyone he fights

--Lang is angry because he thinks he deserves a title shot

e. At a time when Rocky is ready to announce his retirement, Lang publicly Rocky’s wife and

tells Rocky that he’s not man enough to give him a title shot

--Rocky angrily accepts and sets out to train for the fight

f. Sadly, Rocky’s training regimen is sorely lacking

--He approaches it in circus-like fashion; signing more autographs than he hits punching bags

g. Clubber Lang is in serious training

--He’s focused on the fight and the goal of winning the championship belt

h. At fight time, Lang destroys Rocky in just three rounds

--Rocky, dejected and humiliated, tries to decide what went wrong

i. In steps Apollo Creed, Rocky’s nemesis in Rocky 1 and 2

j. Creed gives his assessment of things:

--“Eye of the tiger, Rock. Eye of the tiger. You used to have the eye of the tiger. You used

to be hungry to win. You used to have the want-to. You used to be willing to pay the price

to train. You used to fight with abandonment. You used to. But the winning led to fame

and fame led to affluence and affluence led to indulgence, and self-indulgence led to

weakness, and weakness led to defeat.”

k. Creed takes over Rocky’s training regimen

--He takes him to a run-down, smelly, boxing gym in an impoverished neighborhood where

hungry young men are looking to make a name for themselves. Creed gets Rocky back to

the basics – gets him focused and interested in the hard work of training to be a champ

l. As you might guess, Rocky has his re-match with Clubber Lang and recaptures his world’s

title.

B. This morning, we finish up our series: Discover Jesus: The Other 3:16’s

1. Our 3:16 passage this morning is Rev. 3:16 – “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor

cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

2. We’re going to be looking at a congregation that at one time existed in a town called Laodicea

3. They were a group of Christians who had become satisfied with the status quo

a. They were comfortable

b. They were well-off

c. They thought that they needed nothing

--they were quite all right as they were

4. But Jesus delivers a powerful message to this congregation

--They were not anywhere as well off as they thought they were

a. In fact, they had everything backwards

b. Where they thought they were wealthy, they were poor. Where they thought they were

healthy, they were sick. Where they thought they had the best of clothing, they were really

naked. Where they thought they should be the envy of others, they were pitiful. Where they

thought they were in great shape, they were wretched.

C. As with almost all the other 3:16 passages we’ve looked at, we need to look at this one in it’s

context

--Rev. 3:14-22 – “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘These are the words of the Amen,

the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither

cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither

hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, I am rich; I have acquired

wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind

and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and

white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes,

so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I

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