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