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Summary: When the sanctuary is hot it promotes evangelism, it proclaims the messiah, and it provides a place of peace.

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Union Baptist Church

“Summer Sizzlers”

Revelations 3: 15

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:

I would thou wert cold or hot.” (KJV)

Sermon Title and Text for July 16, 2006

Title: “When the Sanctuary is Hot”

Text: Revelations 3: 15

Focus: “… I would thou wert…hot”

When the sanctuary is hot it promotes evangelism, it proclaims the messiah, and it provides a place of peace.

Sermon: Analogue of my in house water machine with two nozzles to dispense water: a blue nozzle for cold water and a red nozzle for hot water. One day I went to prepare a cup of hot tea. I place a tea bag in the cup. I like milk with my tea, so I pour in the proper amount of milk. I sweeten it with the right amount of sweetener. And I placed the cup under the red nozzle to pour hot water into the cup, but the machine wasn’t working properly and the water that was dispensed wasn’t hot. The tea was no good without hot water. I had to pour the lukewarm tea out. To salvage my appetite for a drink of tea, I mixed instant tea in a glass with the idea that I would have instead a cup of cold tea. I placed the glass under the blue nozzle for the cold water to be dispensed and it was not cold. It was lukewarm. I had to pour the class of lukewarm tea out. There I was with a machine that wasn’t working properly dispensing water that was neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. The machine was no good the water it provided was not fit to drink.

In the text you will find that the Laodicean Church wasn’t working. Interestingly, their where a series of letters written to churches Paul had developed. As you read those earlier six letters you will notice that the letters were addressed to the church in a place. This is the only letter that is written to a church of the people. The initially danger we find is that the church is suppose to be in the world, but not of the world. The church is the bride groom of Jesus Christ. It is supposed to be without spot or wrinkle. It is supposed to shape the culture and not be shaped by the culture. It’s supposed to set the standard for living, not lower itself to culture’s standard of living. It’s supposed to be in the world, but not of the world. It should have read the church in Laodicea, not the church of the Laodiceans.

We find that when people define the church our imperfections cause the church to become known by our faults, our failures, and our flaws. When people define the church it becomes a place of confusion because the truth of the matter is that people are confused. When people define the church instead of it being a hospital of healing, it becomes a hospice for the sick. In other words instead of coming to church to get better, you leave worse than when you came it.

That’s because a church ceases to be alive because people who are dying are defining it.

Laodicea was a city that was located about one hundred miles from Ephesus. It was along the fertile valley between Colosse, which was less than ten miles away, was known for its cool water, and Hierapolis which was just seven miles away and it was famous for its hot springs.

The city was between a place that was known for its cold water and a place that was known for its hot water: much like being in between Aspen Colorado and Hot Springs Arizona.

But, the City of Laodicea had a problem. It didn’t have a water supply. It had to pipe the water through an aqueduct system from both Colosee and from Hierapolis. As a result itstead of the water being cold coming from Colosee, or hot coming from Hierapolis, by the time the water got to Laodicea it was lukewarm.

The Spirit uses the reality of their water problem to describe the problem with The Laodicean Church.

You are neither hot nor cold.

And because you are neither hot nor cold, I was spew thee out of my mouth!

Hot water is soothing.

Cold water is refreshing.

But, lukewarm water is no more than spit.

Laodicea was a wealthy place. The Laodiceans had money. They where involved in banking and finance. They were exporters of fine wool that was in demand all over the known world. They where famous for their school of medicine that had developed a cure for eye defects and people came from all over the world for their medical services.

Because of commerce, financial affairs, and medicine the Laodiceans were wealthy. They were rich. They had it made. In fact they where so wealthy that an earthquake hit the city in 17 A.D. and destroyed it, much like the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. The Laodiceans were so rich that they refused government assistance and rebuilt the town themselves. They were rich.

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