Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen--the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's new creation: I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, 'I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me--gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.
After hearing a message preached by my pastor on Saturday evening on this text, I read a blog posted here at CB by my friend and brother Arisensleeper entitled Men and Brethren What Shall We Do . This blog refers to another blog I had read which was written by my friend and brother Blessings2you entitled Not Conforming To Comfortable Christianity . I must tell you my heart is burning within me right now and weeping as I consider how many of us are told that following Christ is an easy, pleasant path which is trouble-free and leads to health, wealth, and everything you could desire... in this world. We are told this and many of us believe it.
After returning home from church, I did a little more research on Laodicea. It was quite a city. Located on a major trade route, the city had become a major commercial center by 220 B.C. It was a city wealthy in gold. A black wool was produced there which was of the finest quality in the Roman Empire and a large medical school was there as well. Ironically, there was an eye cream produced there which was much sought after.
In Revelations, the Church at Laodicea is described as being neither hot nor cold. Jesus declares that He wishes they were one or the other! The state they are in makes him want to spew them out of his mouth (vomit).
In 60 A.D. a terrible earthquake hit the area. This city was so wealthy that they spurned the offer of financial assistance from Rome. They could take care of themselves and had plenty of money to rebuild their city. This shows you the magnitude of their wealth.
Despite their material wealth and position of power, Jesus says
You say, I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing! And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. Revelations 3:17 (NLT)
Health, wealth, position and power! You would think they had it all! Jesus is not speaking to the general population here, He is speaking to the Christians. They are the inhabitants of one of the richest cities in the Roman Empire and yet He is calling them wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.
So I advise you to buy gold from me--gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. Revelations 3:18 (NLT)
I just read an article about the gold purification process which stated that it is a very complex and dangerous process. We are told we need to buy gold from Jesus--gold that has been purified by fire. This is what makes us rich! Not the gold of this world which is impure but gold purified by God Himself! Oh that we would come to understand that this life is but for a brief moment and we must store up our treasure in heaven!
Over the past seven months, I have tried at times to share exactly how quickly and unexpectedly life can end. One night in December, I was here. I was here at CB. I had been reading blogs and I believe I had even been in chat that night. I had thought about staying longer and working on a blog I wanted to write. Abruptly, I changed my mind and decided to go to bed. About 30 minutes later, I was fighting for my life.
I did not think about my family nor did I think about my friends. I couldn't have cared less about how much money I did or did not earn or what sort of name I'd made for myself! The only thing that mattered was that I was one of His lambs. I could not even bleat but He saw me anyway and caught me up in His arms!
My friends, tears are running down my face right now as I am remembering...
Oh, that we might fall on our faces daily before the Lord continuously seeking Him so that we are not luke-warm but on fire!
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/autumn76/2358051850/
Thank You for writing this Blog!
Oh The purifying fire, of pain and agony, yet produces a harvest fit for the KING.