Summary: Jesus points out our flaws so that we may come closer to Him by repenting.
If Jesus Passed a Note in Church, What Would It Say? (Part 7 of 7)
(Series of sermon content original to W. Herschel Ford)
To the Naked Church That Made Me Sick
Nov. 19, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A The Huddinge Hospital in Stockholm Sweden, has asked a nurse called Jesus to change his name. Apparently some patients have been concerned after they were told "Jesus will be coming soon."
1 Some people thought they were being told they were going to die.
2 Jesus, who will now use his middle name Manuel, said "my name
never usually causes me problems."
3 I wonder, when you hear that Jesus is coming soon, what emotions come to you? Is it hope or fear?
4 Jesus was coming to sick people in Sweden, but in our text today, the Church of Laodicea was making Jesus sick as we conclude our seven churches of Revelation series.
B Laodicea (banking center, medicine: phrgymum powder, known for their black, shiny wool).
1 Earthquake AD 60-refused money from government to rebuild
2 Strong Jewish presence, also pagan worship
3 Water was a major problem, piped in from two near-by cities
4 Jesus gives them no pats on the back because they’re already doing that themselves.
C Rev 3:14-22 (NASB)
1 Explanation of "the beginning of the creation of God." Some cults use this as a proof-text to suggest that Jesus was created, not eternal God. "Beginning" is a divine title in Revelation (note: Beginning is capitalized)
a Identical to "First and the Last" Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. Rev 21:6 (NASB)
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Rev 22:13 (NASB)
b Jesus is the source of creation, not a sample
c All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. John 1:3 (NASB)
2 Jesus longed for the Laodicean church to come back to Him in devotion & faithful service (essence of the text in a sentence).
3 Jesus points out our flaws so we might come closer to Him by repenting (essence of the sermon in a sentence).
4 I pray you’ll make room for Jesus in your heart by repenting of sins that have pushed Him out (objective).
D How does your life make Jesus feel? (Probing question)
1 Let’s look at two parts of Jesus’ plan of action for the Laodicean church to come back into fellowship with Him (T.S.).
I The first part of Jesus’ plan of action for the Laodicean church to come back into fellowship with Him was...the diagnosis. (vs. 15-20)
A Jesus minced zero words in describing the Laodicean’s disease.
1 "Neither hot nor cold...you are lukewarm...I will spit you out of my mouth." v. 15-16
a Laodicea, for all its wealth, had bad water (two aqueducts: Hierapolis, 4 miles to the north, had a hot spring. Colosse, 6 miles to the south, had a cold sping).
b By the time hot/cold water got to Laodicea it was "lukewarm"-full of sediment, useless, repugnant, & was making people sick.
c Useless unless you did something with it (heat it/cool it in the shade).
2 We’ve interpreted hot/cold as God wanting our hearts ablaze with passion for Him, lost souls, worship (not altogether applicable), & cold as distant, apathetic, lethargy.
a Idea was foreign to the 1st century Christian mind (never heard Jerry Reid’s "when you’re hot, you’re hot, when you’re not, you’re not).
b Hot/cold was useful, lukewarm was not.
c Jesus said, "I will not use you, bless you, work through you!"
3 Because you say, "I am rich, wealthy, & have no need of anything." v. 17
a They pictured themselves as all that & Jesus pictured them as the neediest people on Earth.
b They had plenty of money, but misinterpreted wealth as a blessing from God.
aa They lost their VALUES (size of building [IL: bulletin with buildings on it], fat bank account, human standards).
bb They lost their VISION (couldn’t see their flaws, sin-they couldn’t see Jesus, either).
cc They lost their VESTURE (believed they were dressed in splendor, really naked, defeated, humiliated).
c Jesus said, "You’re wretched and miserable"-plundered/destroyed by war.
4 "Behold, I stand at the door & knock..." v. 20
a Jesus was no longer in the church, they’d forced Him outside
b Had riches, wealth, bills paid, programs...no Jesus!
c Left Him out of their plans, programs, hearts
B If Sardis was a dead church, this is the autopsy report of a dead church.