Summary: What makes our Lord feel ill?
THE CHURCH OF THE TURNING STOMACH
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON: story about an Emporer dupped into believing that he was clothed in splendor. He strutted down the streets with an arrogant attitude while those who knew better saw him as just naked.
Church in a the wealthiest of all the 7 cities. We live in the wealthiest time in church history.
Church that Christ came stating #1 He had the authority to tell them the truth #2 He was committed to only telling them the truth #3 He, as the Creator, knew the truth to tell them.
Church whom Jesus identified as LUKEWARM and sickening to Him.
(Saw this morning the first of two things that was wrong with this church)
1. THEY HAD SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEIR COMMITMENT
a. Lukewarm: Room temperature church. Adapted to the climate of the world around them. Absorbed its opinions, truths, philosophies..etc
b. Jesus said it makes me sick.
OKLAHOMA: rings on back pockets of men’s jeans, bumps on the inside of their bottom lips, when in the house they carry a cup around, not to drink out of but to spit into. QUITE DISCUSTING. Two friends on track team who constantly did this and their dorm room was filled with half-full cups of this nature. Talked to girl at that time who told me of going to a movie and reaching down to take a drink of her coke and grabbing the wrong cup and taking a drink of it. I GO NO FURTHER WITH THIS ILLUSTRATION. What makes Jesus feel like you do right now?
2. THEY HAD SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEIR SELF-IMAGE (17) Because you say, ’I am rich, and have become wealthy and have need of nothing’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
a. They believed one thing about themselves but Jesus knew the opposite to be true.
b. THEIR OPINION: three things they thought about themselves
1) I AM RICH - wealthy city in which Christians went with the culture and enjoyed it’s worldly possessions.
FORTY YEARS AGO Americans spent less than 10% of their income on luxury items while today it is over 30%. Spending on recreation from that time has risen over 500%. Consumer credit has increased over 300%. We know how to spend money.
a) Compare it to Smyrna believers who were impoverished under the persecution they endured but Jesus said they were actually rich.
b) Pharisee/tax collector - totally wrong in personal evaluation
2) I HAVE BECOME WEALTHY
3) I HAVE NEED OF NOTHING
BILLY GRAHAM was asked to the home of a wealthy socialite….vacationing neighbors came for a party….asked to say a few words: explained the gospel .pleasure and possession are not lasting…true happiness found only in Jesus…
Young woman laughed…"BUT BILLY WHAT ABOUT THOSE OF US WHO ARE PERFECTLY HAPPY?’
c. PROBLEM many run into is that they choose an artificial standard to which they appear good instead of God’s standard.
ASK: What is the temperature today? 32 above Zero….no it is ZERO Both are right because one is Fahrenheit and the other Celcius. Two different standards to measure temperature. Laodicea was using the standard of the world while Jesus was using the standard of God’s Word.
1) Material blessings must mean God is blessing me. It has nothing to do with that issue anymore than a taller person is more spiritual than a shorter person.
2) If all property rights were revoked and all currency became worthless, HOW RICH WOULD YOU BE? That is what will occur at the moment of your death.
Give me neither poverty nor riches…lest I be full and deny Thee and say, ’Who is the Lord?’ replace God we trust as our motto
d. GOD’S OPINION: you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
1) ’you say’ vrs ’your are’. How blind we can be about our condition: RICH YOUNG RULER. SAUL Apostate church is designed to be non-confrontive and to make people feel all right where they are.
JESUS COMES ALONG AND SHAKES THEM UP(love to have been a fly on the wall when this was read.
a) Carries the idea that they keep on saying, it was their claim to fame, bragged all around town and Jesus comes to say, YOU ARE WRETCHED(’the’ wretched) - posterboy for wretchedness, on the cover of Wretched Digest, picture is in the dictionary next the definition of wretchedness
(1) Wretched is two words: to bear & callous. Idea of bearing on your soul hard callouses which harden you against the truth.
b) REMEMBER what Laodicea means, ’The opinion/judgment of the people’. INMATES RUNNING THE ASSYLUM. People dictating what will be taught and believed instead of the Word of God. THAT IS A MISERABLE EXISTENCE.