Let me begin today’s thoughts and letter by stating that I believe this Church can be considered the Church of today in so many ways. This is the last of the seven churches spoken of in Revelation. We the people “the Church” need to take a close look at this Church and evaluate ourselves:
- Are we the Church that Christ is coming back for? “A Church without spot or wrinkle.”
- Are we the people after God’s own heart?
- Are we following Godly ways or worldly ways?
Let’s look at this Church and compare it to today’s Church worldwide. The Church of Laodicea was from A.D. 1900 to the Tribulation. The Church of Laodicea was considered “The Apostate Church or “A Church of the People.”
Laodicea means “judgment of the people.” This church followed the popular will of laity a self-sufficient and self-satisfied church instead that of Jesus Christ. The Lord compares the Laodicea church as that of drinking lukewarm water, an example of the modern-day apostate (runaway) church.
This church was caught up in a “prosperity gospel” a development of a combination of a worldly wealth and spiritual pride. They had lost their passion for Christ that tolerated a compromised worship of materialism and Christ.
Let’s take a look at Revelation 3:14-22…verse 14 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen (final truth)—the faithful and true witness, the ruler (source) of God’s creation:
Dr. Merrill C. Tenney states it beautifully: “Christ is the seal of God’s reveled truth, the finality of all that the Father has spoken. Beyond Him, God has nothing more to say to man.”
Christ praise and approval: Not one word! This church’s conduct was so much in the wrong that even the Christ of Glory could not find one thing on which to commend her. What a tragedy!
Christ disapproval as stated in verse: 15-17 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, 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.
Christ’s disapproval was that of two areas:
1. They are sickeningly lukewarm. This church has the very description of the modern-day church. All kinds of organizations, programs, committees, activities… but NO POWER! Apostle Paul warns of these things in the last days.
2 Timothy 3:5 They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.
2. They are deceived about themselves. Simple compare the description of itself and the Lord’s description of her. A good test of any work that is claiming to be of God, performed in the name of Jesus Christ is that it glorifies the work of the Spirit and not that of humanity. Does it glorify Jesus Christ?
The Lord Himself describes this group of religious people in Matthew 7:22-23 On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized. (unlawful)
The Lord Jesus describes the Laodicea church as “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” They were “rich” in material things yet poor because they did not know Christ. They were “blind” striving to solve human racial social problems externally by means of education. This is impossible, the answer lays internally only through Jesus Christ…not human reasoning.
This church was not clothed by faith and did not have garments of righteousness which only comes from believing in the divine Son of God and without Him she is nothing.
Christ advice, warning and encouragement as stated in verse 18, I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.
Verse 19: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”