Summary: This is the first of a 6 part series on the church of Laodicea.
Our topic for the next few weeks will be a Love Letter from Jesus ¡V otherwise known as the letter to the church in Laodicea. How many have ever received a love letter or perhaps have dedicated a poetic piece to that special someone? Why do we write such things; because we care, because we love, because we want to express ourselves to them? Oh dear church family, this love letter that we will study is the single most important letter that one could receive in life. There is none other like. It is beyond comparisons. Jesus in His love, Jesus in His mercy, Jesus in His wisdom dictates this love letter for the church to John the Beloved, John the last of the apostles.
This same John, which the inspired pen writes, did much to confirm and strengthen the faith of the believers. He lived to be very old; he witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the ruin of the stately temple. This same John that was summoned to Rome to be tried for his faith. This beloved apostle that was cast into a caldron of boiling oil, but whose life was preserved by the Lord. This John who was banished to the isle of Patmos. It was in this isolated home, if you will, that John receives this love letter from Jesus to the church of Laodicea, this love letter from Jesus to the North Augusta / Aiken Seventh-day Adventist church.
All Seventh-day Adventists, I presume, and all or most students of Scripture know whom the Laodicean church represents. So I ask you this morning, whom is represented by the church in Laodicea. Yes, the church of Laodicea is a representation of the actual church in the present, in the right here and right now. It represents the rest; the remnant of God in the end time, those persecuted by Satan, attacked by that dragon, those that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. To this last church, this rest, Jesus sends this letter.
Today¡¦s passage is one that you have read many times before. I don¡¦t mean to stand before you this morning and try to pretend that this is brand new material for you. I have little doubt that many have heard sermons on this passage in the past. In fact, I would venture to say that a large number of pastors present this message to their congregations and perhaps it has been presented here before in some form or another. So pastor, why are you doing this to us this morning? Oh because we are almost at the end of our journey through Asia Minor and it is imperative that we go through every city on our list. Just because Laodicea is the last city in our trek does not lessen its importance in our study, in our understanding, of the kind of church that Jesus wants us to be. Let us read this love letter from Jesus.
Revelation 3:14-22 ¡§¡K¡¨
This is the love letter from Jesus. Now when you first read this letter, it doesn¡¦t sound much like a letter full of love. I mean, there are some harsh words in this piece of literary work. These are rather grievous words directed at the remnant church. Not just anyone would dare say to another, ¡§You make me nauseous, I¡¦m about to vomit you!¡¨ Not all would dare say to another, ¡§You think you¡¦re rich. You think you have need of nothing! You¡¦re wrong, you are wretched and miserable and you¡¦re poor and blind!¡¨ Think about it, how would you feel if someone came up to you and said, ¡§You are pitiful, you are pathetic, you are deplorable?! You think you are well dressed, but in reality you are a shame because you are naked!¡¨ It probably wouldn¡¦t make one¡¦s self-esteem or mood at the time being.
Why then are our sermons for the coming weeks titled A Love Letter from Jesus? Allow me, brothers and sisters, to tell you that only Someone that loves us can put a dagger in the wound. Only Someone who loves us so much can have the boldness to tell us what which no one else would dare do! Only Someone who is near to us, Someone who desires the good for us. Only Someone who wants to see us saved for eternity would dare tell us the things that that Jesus has to say to the Laodicean church. He doesn¡¦t say it simply just to give us a good ole fashioned whoopin. He doesn¡¦t say it just to beat us with harsh words or to make us feel bad, no, the purpose of Jesus is a redemptive purpose, it is a transforming purpose, it is driving us to recognize our condition, driving us to a genuine repentance so that we may receive a remedy for our sickness and be overcomers and sit with Him on His throne. The purpose of the letter to Laodicea, is so that you and I as part of Laodicea, may become those that overcome. The letter finished on a triumphant note. It ends with a glorious note. It ends in a victorious note. It says, To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.