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Summary: Our culture has an inordinate pursuit of comfort and leisure; but there is a Biblical priority and perspective that must be applied.

AMERICAN IDOLS: LOOKING AT OURSELVES AND OUR LOYALTIES THROUGH THE EYES OF JESUS

THE IDOL OF LEISURE: LAODICEA

REVELATION 3:14-22 (quickview) 

Sermon Objective: Our culture has an inordinate pursuit of comfort and leisure; but there is a Biblical priority and perspective that must be applied.

Supporting Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:10 (quickview) ; James 4:17 (quickview) 

SERIES INTRO

With this sermon we conclude our series called “American Idols: Looking at Ourselves and Our Loyalties Through the Eyes of Jesus.”

There are two categories of idols:

{1} an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.

{2} any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.

Our concern is with the latter. There are a myriad of “things” which could be classified as an idol … they are limited only by the passions of the individual in question. But there are certain dispositions or demeanors that our culture serves and pursues as an end in themselves … they have become idolatrous.

What we discover in “The Revelation” is that they are not just limited to our culture but that others have also pursued these with blind devotion. They include:

• Superiority (pride) – The Church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7 (quickview) ) • Laissez Faire – The Church in Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17 (quickview) ) • Tolerance – The Church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29 (quickview) ) • Comfort – The Church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6 (quickview) ) • Stoicism – The Church in Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13 (quickview) ) • Leisure – The Church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22 (quickview) )

Today we will look at the church in Laodicea and Leisure. It is found in Rev. 3:14-22.

SERMON INTRO:

It was a important center for manufacturing clothing. It produced woolen products. The people of the city were known to be some of the best dressed in all of Asia-Minor.

They had a world-renown medical center. Its medical school employed famous doctors (we know this from circulating coins) and they produced an eye salve from Phrygian powder that was in great demand across the empire.

Its market was second to none. People would come from all over to buy, sell, and just say they had been there. It reminds me of the mystique that surrounds Pike’s Market in Seattle. It is billed as one of the tourist stops that “you just must see.”

Its banking system was second to none. In fact, the city’s banking assets were so noteworthy that Cicero cashed huge bank drafts there. Only Rome was a more successful financial center.

It was one of the wealthiest cities in the world. So much so that after a great earthquake in A.D. 60, which destroyed it, the people refused imperial help in rebuilding the city and chose, rather, to do it with their own money.

THEY WERE SO RICH THEY DIDN’T NEED “GOD – CAESAR.”

French sociologist Jacques Ellul argues that it is the goal of every urban civilization to ultimately make God irrelevant and unnecessary. “The whole goal of the ‘city man.’” Writes Ellul, “is to be able to say, ‘we did it ourselves, we did it our way, we made it on our own, we have need of nothing.’”


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