Summary: Outlne from Rev. 3. The danger of churches and/or individucals falling victim to complacency
The sin of mediocrity
Truett Cathy, founder or Chick-fil-A shows he knows what Jesus Would Do. Since 1948 he has lost millions of dollars because he will not have the restaurants open on Sunday. He has cared for children by developing the foster home system called WinShape Homes. His favorite truisms is "It’s easier to build boys and girls than to mend men and women." He is a man with a purpose to serve God. Woody Faulk, an orphan who Mr. Cathy put to work, and is now a vice president of the firm says everyone knows that Mr. Cathy personifies James 1:22 "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
There is a danger that we face as faithful believers. It is the sin of complacency. We begin to merely listen to the word and not do what it says. We come more out of habit than anything else. We lose our passion and our hungering and thirsting for righteousness.
The church at Laodicea was in such a condition. Jesus used the hot or cold illustration because it was something they understood. In the area around the city their were both hot springs and cold springs, a luxury to say the least, and something they could obviously understand.
I. They were neither hot nor cold.
a. They were complacent
b. They were unconcerned with accomplishment
c. They were going through the motions
d. Churches sometimes grow complacent
e. They become satisfied with the status quo
f. They are neither warm the body nor quench the thirst
g. Churches in this condition are merely existing
h. They have no evangelistic mission
i. They are usually inwardly focused
j. They accomplish little for the Kingdom
k. You are either growing or dying when it comes to the Church
l. There is no in between.
m. I have seen churches grow to 300, become satisfied and now they are running 40
n. They are neither hot nor cold.
II. We see some of the reasons for their demise.
a. They said I am rich.
b. Never confuse material possessions with the blessing of Christ
c. This is not always the case.
d. They assumed because they lacked for nothing, that they were on the right track.
e. So was the Titanic
f. The Titanic was built by professionals and the ark was built by amateurs.
g. They were only looking at the physical.
h. How sad it is when a church or a Christian measures his own spiritual state by the comfort of his life.
i. This is so contrary to scripture.
j. Paul was shipwrecked, snake bit, flogged, beaten robbed, blinded, imprisoned and starved and yet he wrote a large portion of the New Testament.
k. Along with their wealth came a feeling of accomplishment and pride.
l. Pride cometh before a fall.
III. Their true condition
a. Wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
b. Wretched because they had begin to depend on self.
c. Blind, because they obviously were unaware of how they appeared before Christ.
d. Pitiful, because they were not what they thought they were.
e. Naked, because they had begun to depend on themselves and not on Christ, they had set themselves up to be invaded by the evil one.
f. How often do we see this today?
g. This is why we see individuals who cannot handle success.
h. They think it is of themselves and God has to prove them wrong for their on sake.
i. If thy hand offend thee, cut it off. It is better to enter into heaven without a hand than to go to hell with both of them.
IV. The Road to recovery.
a. First, recognize your sinful state.
b. This is hard to see at first.
c. Your not doing anything immoral.
d. You have just lost your focus.
e. Buy the Gold refined in the fire.
1. Take what God has taught you through your trials and learn from it. Buy from me indicates a sacrifice.
2. Take hold of the righteousness of Christ. This is the only righteousness you have; you have none of your own. Your only chance of standing righteous before God is in Christ Jesus.
3. Request the salve for your eyes that you may discern what God would have you to do, and so you may understand the source of your strength. Paul was blinded that he might see. And so must we be sometimes.
f. Christ reaches out to those he loves, like a father to a wayward child.
g. He stands at the door and knocks, but we have to open it and let him in.
h. We have to be still and listen and know that he is God.
i. He longs to restore the fellowship that he once enjoyed.