Summary: If it’s possible for a set of conditions to exist which make God sick, then we need to know about them, so we can avoid them at all costs! Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.
READING SOMEONE ELSE’S MAIL
Laodicea—The Church that Made God Sick
Have you ever been so disgusted with someone’s attitude that you said, You make me sick! You meant, I don’t feel good about you, I don’t like to be around you, you disgust me, you turn my stomach.
It’s one thing when a person feels that way about you, it’s a completely different thing when God says He feels that way about you!
16 “spue thee out of My mouth”… “you make me sick”
You like your coffee hot, right? Soda cold, right? Lukewarm makes you sick. Quite a serious statement for the God of the universe that created them at that church, that they are nauseating to Him!
These 7 letters were given that we might examine our own hearts and lives, and our own church!
Now, if it’s possible for a set of conditions to exist in church that make God sick, then we need to know about them, so we can avoid them at all costs!
Before we look at this church, let’s look at the city of Laodicea, in which this church was located.
1. All of their water came from a unique, above-ground system of aqua-ducts. They brought their water into town from 2 sources: ice cold water from the top of the Phrygian mountains, which were snow covered. The other source of water was from the hot springs of Hieropolis. They are still in existence today, and used by the government of Turkey. The water is as hot as you could possibly imagine, creating steam at its source. The problem was this, it didn’t matter which source they brought their water in from, by the time the water got to the city, it was lukewarm (room temperature). Despite their efforts to have hot and cold running water, they had to get used to it being lukewarm.
2. It was a very wealthy city. In 60 A.D., Laodicea was completely destroyed by an earthquake, and historical records say it was completely rebuilt by the wealth of it’s people, w/ no outside help whatsoever! They were totally self-sufficient.
3. It was the world headquarters for eye-care. Eye diseases were quite common in the first century. The Apostle Paul likely had one of these disfiguring eye diseases. The hospital at Laodicea developed an eye-salve that became world-famous for curing eye diseases.
4. They had a special process in Laodicea, whereby they could die wool black. This black wool was known far and wide, and was used by many to make elegant garments.
File that away. We’ll come back to it. (Lukewarm water / wealth / eye-care / black wool)
Now let’s talk about the church at Laodicea…they represent today’s church, from 1900 to the rapture, which could be any day now! Today’s churches are mostly lukewarm.
4 Things: Condition / Commendation / Cause / Cure
1. Their condition
15-16 He says, you’ve lost your zeal / vigor / fervency
Ill.—Milk. I love it! Especially w/ Oreos. But it better be cold. Or, in the form of hot chocolate, it better be hot!
Commercial: man tips up jug of milk, suddenly spits it out into the sink / wife in next room says, “Honey, the refrigerator isn’t working!”
The people in Laodicea went to great trouble trying to get something hot or cold, but they ended up w/ neither.
Jesus says to the church there, because your brand of Christianity is lukewarm, I want to spit you out of my mouth.
When is a Christian lukewarm? When they grow comfortable, complacent, lethargic spiritually…and not even know it! Or, not even care!
Lukewarmness is the opposite of what the songwriter said, when he wrote: “I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights…”
That’s the attitude God is looking for.
One thing that all Christians have in common w/ all churches: They never stand still! You’re either going forward, or backward.
Ill.—soldier in civil war, couldn’t decide if he was for the north or the south, so he put on a union coat and confederate pants…when they found him he was dead, face down, and had been shot in the front and stabbed in the back!
Jesus said, I would rather you be cold than lukewarm, or halfway. At least then you would be able to feel it, and recognize you have a problem! But even better, I wish that you were hot, on fire for God, but you’re neither…you’re lukewarm, comfortable, complacent, cozy, and convenient. You’ve replaced zeal w/ indifference / enthusiasm w/ apathy. You’re not really up, not really down / in or out / with it or without it / you’ve got just enough Jesus in you that you can’t enjoy the world, and enough of the world in you, that you can’t enjoy Jesus! Just riding the fence. And it’s Jesus who says, if you won’t get in, get faithful, get busy, and get serious, then just go ahead and get out!