Summary: This message shows hoe the church of today can be like the church of Laodocia.
1. Get in or get out
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Here is a church much like the church today - playing along and giving a semblance of religion.
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
He says to turn away from those who are half-hearted. Why? Because they will infect you.
Neither hot nor cold. Not exactly lost, but not exactly saved either. So many people are in the church but not of the church. We’re interested, but not committed. Do we really believe that this is the only path to true life?
Are we committed to this truth, or are we here just in case. I remember a man who told me he sent his tithes ii with his wife ’just in case’. He wanted to stay on the good side of God just in case there really was a God. Great! His money was going to heaven, but he wasn’t.
Neither hot of cold. Not against religion, but not really sold on it either. Think about what he is saying here. It’s like the guy who says, "Honey, if you love me marry me." And she says, "Well now let’s not go too far here. I mean, I love you today, but marriage is kind of permanent."
Faith is an all or nothing proposition. You can’t just be kind of saved any more than you can be kind of married. You either are or you aren’t.
It goes back to an old saying which is quite crude, but it makes the point - to put it politely, "Either do your business or get off the pot." You get the message.
Do you know what taking the name of the Lord in vain really means? It means taking on his name - calling yourself a Christian - and not doing anything about it.
I’m a little embarrassed of the church today. Actually, I’m even a little embarrassed of myself. I’m not sure I’m giving Jesus all that he wants from me.
Listen to what he says:
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Did you ever go to get a good cold drink of water and it comes out lukewarm? You may have even spued it out. It’s not what you wanted or expected. It’s no good.
In the judgment, I believe the Lord is going to be spuing out a whole lot.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
God help us when we think we’re okay and we’re not. We’re looking at things the wrong way. Years ago, a pope was showing the Vatican treasures to a colleague. He said, "No longer can the church say ’silver and gold have I none’", to which his colleague replied, "And neither can it say ’in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.’"
The church may be prospering in many ways today with TV and Radio ministries, and Christian bookstores, and all sorts of Christian paraphernalia, but what about the power of God.
I, for one, am tired of the cheap substitutes. I don’t need any more excitement - I need the power of God. I don’t need to be knocked down, I need to be picked up.
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
The only place we’ll get what we really need is from God. It will not come from programs and equipment and facilities and crowds and gimmicks - it will come from the throne of God in response to fervent prayer.
As many as love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Why did Jesus speak so harshly to this church? Because he loved the church and wanted it to be what it should be. Just like you love your kids and sometimes have to ’knock’ some sense into them. Well, Jesus is the same way.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (AV)
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (AV)
Heb 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (AV)
Now here is a verse we have relegated to the non-Christian, but it’s really meant for us.