Summary: Adapted in part from Warren Wiersbe (and others)...a look at the letters Jesus dictated to specific churches...with the ensuing question, "what would He write to us?"
WHAT KIND OF CHURCH ARE WE?
THE COMPLACENT CHURCH
* (READ) For the Bible student, the name Laodicea conjures up images of a church in trouble. The sad part is this; they don’t know they are in trouble. They have money in the bank, self-confidence, tenacity, position in the community, and all the trappings of success and don’t even realize that they are about to be rejected.
* For the purposes of our study, I call them the “Complacent” church, but other descriptive terms can be just as true. We could call them “confused”, “confident”, “conformed”, “cultural”, or even the “counterfeit” church. Whatever term you choose for them, there must be an understanding that neither them, nor you, nor I, get a say in what a church of the living God is to be “about.” We can only measure it compared to what God says it should be or become.
* The sad truth about Laodicea is that they “think” (or “thought) they were doing just fine. Believing they have it all together, they have basically dismissed God and the Holy Spirit in lieu of their own personal control of the church and her “ministry.”
* History teaches us that a number of years earlier the city of Laodicea was destroyed by an earthquake. We also know that the city was so wealthy that they were able to rebuild rather quickly without dependence on anyone else. From this, we can quickly understand the attitude in the community which had obviously made its way into the church. Here it is; “If we need it, we can buy it.” Sadly and seemingly, this is the attitude we find in America today which has also infected the church to the point of no longer needing anything supernatural.
* Jesus’ introduction to this church is very pointed. To put it in my terminology, I am the “final word” (Amen), I am the finished word (the faithful and true), and I am the “first word” (the originator of creation).
* In keeping with our ongoing outline, we begin with;
1) Approval – For me, this is one of the most sobering truths of this entire study. The church that is the most confident is the church to which the Lord gives NO WORD of approval. None. Not one. It is a troubling thing to realize that the very things “WE” believe are important are not so.
* In fact, to read this text with any attempt to hear vocal inflexion is to understand that the Lord Is indeed frustrated with this church. Scripture teaches us that “to whom much is given, much is required” and the church at Laodicea was given more than its share of earthly blessings. Because of all those blessings, they no longer depended on the Lord, they no longer had a passion for the people outside of their church, they just “did” church when it was convenient and were oblivious to the work of the Kingdom.
2) Accusation – I know what you are doing and that you are not doing much. You’re just getting by. Then He uses temperature to describe.