Summary: Week 10 in a Wednesday evening study through the book of Revelation
“The Lukewarm Church”
Christ’s letter to the Church@ Laodicea
Date: August 14, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: Revelation 14-22
Tonight we will study the last letter to the churches in Asia. Let’s look at tonight the letter to the church @ Laodicea, the seventh church representing the “worldly church”, during the time of 1900 to the rapture.
As I read this and studied its message, Laodicea is the most disappointing church.
Jesus did not have one word of commendation for this church.
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans”
This city was located on the Lycus Valley and was known during its time as the wealthiest most important commercial center in the region.
Primarily known for three industries: Banking, wool and medicine.
An inadequate local water supply forced the city to build an underground aqueduct.
All three industries & the water supply will play an important part in this lesson
The church in Laodicea began through the ministry of Epaphras, while Paul was ministering in Ephesus. Paul never personally visited this city.
“This things says the Amen, the Faithful an True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.”
Here we see three charactistics of Jesus
1. The Amen- This is a common biblical term signifying certainty
According to 2 Corinthians 1:20, all the promises of God are fulfilled in Christ; that is all God’s promises & unconditional covenants are guaranteed & affirmed by the person & work of Jesus Christ.
2. Faithful & True Witness- Jesus is not only the last word but is a completely trustworthy & perfectly accurate witness to the truth of God.
John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth & the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
2. Beginning of the creation- there was heresy being taught that Christ was a created being. Instead He is the Beginning or literally the Beginner, Originator or Initiator of creation.
Verse 15 & 16
“ I know your works”
In all the other letters Jesus refers here to the churches good works, but to the church @ Laodicea good works are not mentioned.
“That you are neither cold nor hot”
Cold- “esuchros” (sue-crows) this is referring to lost people
Hot – “testos” this is referring to those that are saved & serving God.
Lukewarm – “kiliaros” this is referring to the Christian who is out of fellowship with God, who is backslidden.
If you share with someone who is in a right relationship with God they will be excited about the spoken word or an opportunity to serve God.
If you share with a lost person, they will either be convicted or not have any desire to hear what God has to say to them
I would much rather share with a cold, lost person than a lukewarm Christian
Here is the relevance for those in this city: Nearby Hierapolis was famous fro its hot springs. It would take folks quiet some time to travel back to Laodicea with this hot water. By the time they reached home the water was lukewarm. Colosse was known for its cold refreshing mountain stream, by the time this water reached Laodicea it was lukewarm. Also the water in Laodicea had a heavy content of iron & enzymes, which caused nausea and vomiting.
The church here was neither cold, openly rejecting Jesus nor hot, filled with a spiritual zeal. Instead they were lukewarm, hypocrites.
Like the tepid water these self-deceived hypocrites sickened Christ.
At one time the city was destroyed. The Roman government offered money to the Laodiceans to rebuild but refused Roman money saying they were self-sufficient and had all the money they needed to rebuild.
It is still true today; worldly wealth is the measuring rod for the modern church today. Spiritual values have been lost sight of or are entirely ignored.
Tell the story of the church calling us as pastor in Barksdale Texas.
“I Counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich” – this refers to the blood of Jesus.
“And white garments that you may be clothed that the shame of nakedness may not be revealed”- this is referring to the righteousness of Christ. One of the main industries was the making of fine clothing. But Jesus says you are dressing yourself in your own righteousness, what matters is My righteousness.
“and anoint your eyes with salve, that you may see.”- this refers to the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes. Historians tell us that one of the products produced in Laodicea was an eye salve which could supposedly heal the blind.