by Tammy Phillips
September 22, 21
TO: The angel of the CHURCH OF LAODICEANS, the Lukewarm Church. Laodicea was a rich powerful, banking center. They had a thriving textile industry and had a medical center that which developed an eye-salve to aid in eye problems. It had a huge colosseum that sat about 60, 000. It had four markets and about 4500 shops. It was a hopping place. Laodicea was located in the Lycus river valley between Hierapolis, a military city, known for mineral hot springs and Colossae, a resort town that had a supply of cool refreshing water from the surrounding mountains.
CC: (Future Churches, Future Followers)
FROM: “Jesus, the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14 NKJV) These are definitive names of Jesus! They are who He is.
The AMEN (the Firm, the Faithful, the Most Assured, the Absolute Sure, the “So Be It” and the Final Word.). Jesus is the SO BE IT! And…
The Faithful (Trustworthy, Believable, Sure, Reliable) and the True (Genuine, Real Deal) Witness (The Greek word martyr. Look familiar? It should. Witnesses were summoned to testify in a court of law. They were only allowed to speak what was personally known to be true. They had to be faithful to speak the truth to the point of suffering or death.) Jesus is THE Witness no one is more honest or upright. He is the FAITHFUL ONE. He is the ONLY TRUTH! He is the REAL DEAL. And…
The Beginning (the Starting Point, the Originator, the Commencement, the Chief, the First) of the creation (the act of creating, the original formation, all created things). John 1:3, Co. 1:16-17).
I LIKE THIS: Sadly, In John’s letter to this church, this line was blank. Jesus did not commend Laodicean Church on anything! They thought they did not need Him. We need Jesus every day. It is when we are stubborn and try to do things on our own that we fail. Take Jesus out of Church, country, or life, and watch it fall.
I DON’T LIKE: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked–” (Revelation 3:15-17 NKJV)
Hot water has healing, restorative properties. Cold water refreshes. How is lukewarm water useful? Laodicea had built systems to bring hot water from nearby, Hierapolis, and cold water from Colossae. When the water reached Laodicea, it was lukewarm and not satisfying. It had lost its valuable properties and was not pleasing to the mouth. Jesus was inferring to the Church, “You are not refreshingly cold nor restoratively hot. You do not leave a good taste in My mouth, so I am going to spit you out of my mouth.”
“Deep down, there is no one more miserable than the lukewarm Christian is. They have too much of the world to be happy in Jesus, but too much of Jesus to be happy in the world.” -David Gusik.
To be lukewarm is a to be in “comfortable” place of in action in the world. Toes are not in the hot nor the cold. It is a place of riding the fence. Jesus often takes us out of our comfort zone when we follow Him.
Laodicea was known for its fabulous wealth, but Jesus saw the Church of the city as spiritually wretched, miserable, and poor. Laodicea was famous for its optical medical center and healing eye salve, but He saw a blind Church. Laodicea had the finest clothing, markets, and shops where they could buy their opulent clothes, but Jesus saw the Church as spiritually naked. They were blinded by their prosperity. They thought they did not need anything and that included Jesus. Jesus was speaking to the Church here, not the lost. Laodicea had left Jesus standing on the outside of the Church and He wanted back in.
DO THIS: “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, [that] the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent.“ (Revelation 3:18-19 NKJV)
Jesus wanted to meet the needs of Lao’s. He wanted them to have spiritual riches of gold refined in the fire. He wanted to dress them in His righteousness. He wanted to heal their spiritual blindness, but they had to open the door to a knocking Jesus. He still loved them and corrected them. He asked them to be zealous which means to burn, to boil, to strive after and pursue Him. And, repent. Simply, turn back to Him.
REWARD: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:18, 20-21 NKJV). Jesus was on the outside seeking to come back in. He was knocking. Can we ignore the knock at a door? He wanted the church to be hot and healing, cool and refreshing. Lukewarm just did not cut it. He loved the church and wanted the Laodiceans to get back on track. He promised them a seat with Him. Wow. What a reward.
I enCOURAGE you to open the door to Jesus. He wants to sit at the table and eat with you. He wants us, His Church body to be like freezing, cold, refreshing ice water or like boiling, hot, restorative, healing water. Indifference and apathy in the church are compared to unwelcomed lukewarm water which is really of little value. Be zealous and jealous for Him alone. A Church on fire for Jesus will change the world, one person at a time.