Summary: Warning to the "First Community Church of the Fat, dumb and Lazy"
The Letter to the Church in Laodicea –
I want to paint a picture for you – here is a scenario - see if it sounds familiar.
It is around 5 pm, your not home or anywhere near it, and the following conversation ensues. “Are you hungry?” “Sort of.” “Want to get something to eat?” “Sure, why not, I guess.” “Where do you want to go?” “I don’t know, where you want to go.” “I don’t know where do you want to go?” “I don’t care… anywhere.” “Do you want fast food; take out, a sit down restaurant?” “I don’t care, you pick.”
This has to be the most nauseating conversation you can have, and very frustrating!
Now – I want you to multiply that frustration and nausea to the nth degree – and you won’t even be close to how Jesus feels about churches like the one in –
turn there with me and let’s walk through what Jesus has to say…
As you get there let me fill you in a little about this church - Laodicea has the gruesome distinction of being the only Church of which Jesus has nothing good to say. They were a very well to do church; they had everything they needed, so they thought.
Ok, let’s start at Verse 14 (read) – This is Jesus explaining to the church where He gets His authority. When you pray what is the last thing you say – “Amen”. When Jesus says “The Amen” – He is saying that HE is the final word and when He says the “Beginning” well – you put those together with the words that He is the faithful and true… and He says – I am the beginning word, the final word and every truth in between!
Let’s keep going – Verse 15 & 16 (read) - There was no real water supply in Laodicea – as such – there was an aqueduct that brought water from 6 miles away. The water came from two different sources. One came from the hot springs and was cooled to lukewarm. The other came from a cooler source and warmed up in the aqueduct along its journey. Living with this, the problem they had with their water you can rest assured that the people of Laodicea got the message when Jesus used the phrase, "you’re neither cold nor hot." But what does Jesus want them to understand?
Laodicea had fallen as low as a church can go and still be called a church. They had no feeling one way or the other about anything.
At least HOT serves a purpose – at least COLD serves a purpose – but lukewarm only serves to make you throw up.
Have you ever seen someone whose actions or lack of action just absolutely made you sick, that disgusted you? Well, that’s Jesus right here!
What Jesus is saying is that nothing is more disgusting to Him than a half-hearted, lukewarm, casual, mediocre Christian – the wording He uses in verse 16 can actually be translated as “projectile vomiting.”
You ask - What does a lukewarm Christian look like today?
Ok, I warn you, you’re not going to like it…
•If you give more money to your hobby than to your Heavenly Father.
•If you give more time to a sport than you do the Savior.
•If you sign up for the nursery and then don’t show you.
•If you prepare more for a Saturday picnic than you do your Sunday school class.
•If you think your bible is just something you carry to church, if you even remember it.
•If you haven’t witnessed to anyone or invited anyone to church in the past six months.
•If you think you can give God your second best because “it isn’t my real job”.
•If you won’t show up to choir practice but yet expect to sing in the choir on Sunday.
•If you believe that coming to church “once in awhile” will make you spiritually healthy.
The lukewarm Christian knows what is “worldly” but isn’t ready to give it up. The lukewarm Christian isn’t greedy but will give as little as possible. The lukewarm church says it’s a praying church but no one shows up to pray.
Do I dare go on? I think you have the picture…
There is a danger that we face as faithful believers. It is the sin of complacency, apathy, mediocrity. We begin to merely listen to the word and not do what it says.
In Verse 17 - (read) –It wasn’t that they didn’t care – they did – they just cared about all their stuff. They were rich, had nice clothes, big cars… what did they need Jesus for?
They simply didn’t care one way or the other about Jesus or His church. The church Jesus is describing is the “First Community Church of the fat, dumb and lazy.”