Although this was addressed to the Church at Laodicea, I believe it also serves as a chilling warning for the Church today. Complacency not only grieves the heart of God, it makes Him sick. That is how repugnant it is and we need to take that seriously.
The city of Laodicea lay between two cities. One, Hieropolis, was known for it's fabulous hot springs. The other city was Colosse which was known for it's refreshing, cold mountain streams. The water of Laodicea, however, was very ppor. It was mineral-filled without the soothing heat and was warm without the refreshing coldness of the water of Colosse. The water of this city, ironically, was neither hot nor cold.
The city was extremely wealthy. In fact, when an earthquake hit the city in 60 A.D., city officials refused financial assistance from the Senate and Laodicea financed the reconstruction of the city without any outside assistance. This was one city that felt it could take care of itself. Sound familiar?
Why was this city so wealthy? It was on a major trade route for one thing. In addition, a lot of tourists would come to the area as well to bathe in the hot springs at Hieropolis, drink the delicious water at Colosse and shop in Laodicea. Tourists? Oh yes. The human race has not changed much, you know. If someone tells you about this great place they went to or about something wonderful they saw or did, you usually feel like you have to go check it out as well, right? Of course they had tourists 2,000 years ago!
Laodicea was famous for banking, the manufacturing of fine wool and a world-famous medical school. This medical school also produced a very special product; a famous eye salve. The people of Laodicea had the ability to give to those in need financially, clothe the naked and bring comfort and healing to the hurting and the sick. They had the ability to do it but they would only do it for a price, a very high price. By refusing to minister to others, in the eyes of God they became poor, wretched, blind and naked. (Revelation 3:17)
If they would repent they would receive spiritual gold, be clothed in Christ's righteousness and comforted and healed through His own precious blood which would enable them to see God's truth. Repentance was opened to them. They only had to open the door and receive it (Revelation 3:20). Failure to do so would cause ultimate destruction!
God is merciful...
He is not content to sit idly by as the Church at Laodicea destroys itself from with in. He confronts them with their sin. While the enemy accuses and condemns, God judges and extends grace to the repentant heart. We must remember though, that there is more to repentance than simply "saying sorry". The mouth says "sorry" but the heart repents and desires to turn away turn away from sin.
The message Jesus has for the Church at Laodicea is to buy their gold from Christ; it has been refined by fire and that will make them truly "rich". Buy white garments from Him for those are the only garments which can cover our shame. Buy medicine for your eyes from Christ so that you will be able to see the broken, hurting world around you through His eyes. How can we truly minister others if we do not see... truly see them?
There is only one answer to that question. We can't. If we do not truly see them, we are only doing it to bring glory to ourselves. That may sound harsh but I believe it to be true.
Revelation 3:20 is often applied to "sinners" meaning someone who has never repented and sought God's forgiveness. Jesus, however, is not talking to people who never knew Him. He is talking to... Christians . It sort of takes on a deeper meaning now, doesn't it?
The message for the Church at Laodicea is the message for the Church today. We simply cannot afford to walk in complacency for it will destroy us. Jesus is calling us to rise up and not sleep! He is calling us to seek after the riches of His love and His garments of righteousness rather than pursue what this world has to offer us. He offers us "gold" rather than "fool's gold" which is worthless. He is calling us to life with Him... and to do life with others. Let us always have our hearts opened to Jesus Christ so that indeed we might feast together with Him.
The modern church is a deep subject today. I will just mention some terms that can be researched on the internet, it involves some troubling issues. Some churches are practicing what can be termed Hegelian dialect. Basically you have small groups,, a thesis is presented, and then an anti-thesis, and the parties then arrive at a synthesis. The terms and method all originate with a marxist socialist named Hegel. A couple of famous mega-churches use this technique, and have published material that teach this to others, it is all done in the name of christianity. It in the end only serves to compromise the teachings of scripture, and change christendom to better suit our modern moral society. That is why many remove the pews, and put in chairs, take down the crosses, in other words make the surroundings more contemporary with others.
Some say that these mega-churches are really using techniques to conform with UN Agenda 21, moving toward that one-world system of all being one. It is not conspiracy theory stuff, just observing the techniques being used today, and how they tie in to the Laodicean church you mentioned. Worth a heads-up to think about. People are resistant to immediate change, but most times are like that frog in hot water. Just look at the church of 40 years ago, and think how it has changed. Hope I didn't get too far off base. God Bless. billy
Excellent blog,K. The church at Laodicea is the only one of the 7 Jesus said nothing bad about. They didn't have their Jezebel or Nicolaitanes. It was their half-hearted, indifferent, mediocre approach.. neither hot nor cold... luke warm.
ThankS for the reminder!