Summary: This ws one of the seven churches in Asia, the last church which was in a lukewarn condition, displeasing to God.
The Church of Laodicea
In the book of Revelation John addresses the seven churches that are in Asia. He stating in chapter one and verse four, “Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before the throne.”
The church I would like to consider is the Laodicea church the last church mentioned in the seven golden candlesticks, this church was a corrupt church, nevertheless it was a church. The letter is written to the angel of the church or what we would call the pastor.
In the third chapter Jesus is introduced by John as, THE AMEN the one that is steady and unchangeable, calling him, THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS, whose testimony to men ought to be received and will be a true witness against those who profess Christ but are indifferent and lukewarm.
He then recognizes Him as, THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD who is the first cause, the creator and the governor of it all. He is the head of the body, the first born from the dead from whence all these titles are taken.
Jesus knew the church at Laodicea better than they knew themselves and brought some charges against them. Jesus said, “I know thy works, thou art neither cold nor hot,” but worse than being cold nor hot is being in this lukewarm state. Luke warmness or indifference in religion is a place you don’t want to be in.
If religion is a real thing, it is the most excellent thing, and therefore we should happy, contented and overcoming people. If it is not the real thing, it is an imposture, and we should disregard it. If having religion is worth anything, it is worth everything.
Indifference is inexcusable; why halt you between two opinions? Elijah said, “If God be God, follow him; if Baal be God follow him.” This is no time to straddle the fence; we are expected to declare ourselves either for Christ or against him.
Jesus said to the church in Laodicea, “Because you are lukewarm I will spew thee out of my mouth.” Lukewarm professors turn the heart of Christ against their activities. He is sick of their actions, and will no longer bear them. They say they have charity, meekness, moderation and a largeness of soul; yet this was nauseous to Christ, and will be rejected.
They thought they were well able, but were very indifferent, saying “I am rich and increased with good and have need of nothing.” What a difference between their thought and what Jesus thought about them. They had provided for their bodies, and had overlooked the necessities of their souls.
They thought themselves well-furnished in their souls, they had learning, and took it for religion; they had gifts and took them for grace; they had wit, and they took it for true wisdom; they had ordinances, and they took up with their folly instead of the God of ordinances.
They had deceived themselves and knew not that they were wretched, miserable and poor, blind and naked. Their state was shameful in itself, calling for compassion from others, yet, they were filled with pride.
They were poor, really poor, when they thought they were rich, they had no provision for their souls to live upon; their souls were starving in the midst of their abundance; they were in debt to the justice of God, and had nothing to pay the debt with.
They were blinded because of sin and could not see their way, or the snares that Satan had set before them. The light that was in them was now darkened, and how great that darkness had become. They could not see Christ, who was set forth and crucified before their eyes.
They could not see God by faith; they could not see death or eternity though they were upon the very brink of it. They were naked, without clothing and without house for their souls. No garment of justification or that of sanctification. Their guilt and pollution had covered them, and their sins and shame lay exposed.
There were naked without house, for they were without God, and He had been their dwelling place in all generations. In Him alone can the soul of man find rest, safely and all he has need of. The riches of the body will not enrich the soul; the sight of the body will not enlighten the soul. The best house for the body will not warm and satisfy the longing of the soul.
Notice the good counsel that is given by Christ; “I counsel thee to buy of me,” the counselor always gives the best advice, which is suitable to the need. These people were poor, and Christ counsels them to buy of him gold tried in the fire, that they might be rich, letting them know that in Him alone is where we find true riches.