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Summary: A strong message to encourage Christians to find their resources in Christ alone. Structure: 1) rebuke 2) Resources 3) Request 4) Remedy

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The message to the church at Laodicea. Rev 3:14-22 WBC 27/3/03am

Quick science lesson, this morning! Can anyone tell me what the second law of thermodynamics is?

(1st = conservation of energy. 2nd = entropy, equilibrium 3rd- has to do with 0 deg K)

- things tend towards randomness, sameness, equilibrium

Let me illustrate. Volunteers?

- 4 cups of drink. 1 hot coffee, 1 cool coffee, 1 cold drink, 1 lukewarm drink (and a bucket for them to spit it out in!)

If left on their own, or without any input- things tend to a nauseating lukewarmness

Read Rev 3:14-22

REBUKE

Gosh! This is a stinger! I almost don’t want to preach it, hot on last week’s sermon

- but here’s the text!

Some are of the opinion that God… or His people…. would/should never chide, rebuke or ‘hurt’ – because it’s ‘not loving’

- but it’s just not true! Certainly of God

You see- love and truth sometimes mean being TOUGH.

- God says ‘I love you as you are, but I love you TOO much to let you stay that way’.

- V19 ‘those I LOVE I rebuke’

o (heb 12- God discipline’s those He loves. Those who don’t get disciplined are ‘past it’

o I wouldn’t love you if I weren’t truthful and tough with you

 And he’s truthful, alright. He’s the Amen. The faithful and true witness

 ‘the Amen’

• = title of ‘truth’

• = title of Divinity (as Is describes God as the ‘God of Amen’)

He loves this lot. He loves us. And He is not a soft touch.

- it hurts, sometimes! (“peter was hurt when Jesus asked him a 3rd time)

Jesus says to them

- you’re lukewarm

- you’re neither HOT, nor refreshing

o that’s what ‘cold’ means, here. Doesn’t mean God would prefer we are either on fire for Him or cold against Him!

o It means- you’re not REFRESHING! You’re nauseatingly NOTHING. Blended into your environment.

o > ‘in fact….. you make me sick!’

o (oh my word! But note: “I am ABOUT to spit you out”. A bit like us with the kids ‘I’m going to switch the TV off!’ You still have a chance!)

It’s an apt illustration!

- here we are in Laodicea

-

o to its North, Hierapolis, with its hot mineral springs

 good for bathing and ‘health spas’

o to its south, Colossae- known for its pure, cold mineral waters

o and right in the middle: Laodicea- which had to pipe its water 6 miles

 can imagine its temperature when it arrived

 calcification problem (like us)

- tasted vile! Tepid chalky water!

Quite some project, to ship all that water, eh?

- it was!

RESOURCES

They were a phenomenally wealthy town.

- remember the earthquake of AD 17? (not personally!)

o they didn’t need a grant. Rebuilt overnight

- the city was a prosperous centre for banking and commerce

- famous for - clothing make from the wool of a black sheep

 an eye salve, with reputed ‘medicinal properties’, to help the blind see

And here’s the challenge: they had ALL these things… SO much

- they thought they were so well off they didn’t really need Jesus

- AND they didn’t really see it!

o “I am rich, I have acquired wealth, and I don’t need a thing!”

o “Jesus says to them, tongue in cheek: ‘I counsel you to buy from ME some of this eye-salve stuff so you can SEE…”


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