Lukewarm Church | Revelation 3:14–22
Revelation’s Devine Outline: Revelation 1:19“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”
In Chapter 2 and 3 we find 7 letters —Directed and dictated by Jesus to the 7 churches in Asia.
Each letter follows the same pattern:
1) Introduction: (Jesus description, Ch 1:12-17)
4) Prescriptions: (Improve or fix)
The 7 churches give us —The chronological flow of church history, —from the apostles to the present.
- 1) Ephesus, = The apostolic church (age of the apostles),
- 2) Smyrna, = The Persecuted Church (Starting with Nero 63 AD to Diocletian 310 AD = 10 waves of persecution)
- 3) Pergamos, =The Compromised Church(300 AD Satan joined the Churched under Constantine = The religion of the Empire), |
- 4) Thyatira, = Catholic Church —Work based (Birth of the Catholic church: Papasy, Justification by works, Celibacy, Confession, Mariolatry, Purgatory, Penance, indulgences, etc.. (300s-1500s) |
- 5) Sardis, = The dead Church: (Name but not alive) |
- 6) Philadelphia, = The Favored Church (The Church of brotherly Love- Open door set before them We need to be) |
- 7) Laodicea. =The LukeWarm Church: (Seeker friendly, neither hot nor cold. Doesn’t stand for truth. >>> [The Last 4 are still around today])
[TEXT>>] 14 “And to the angel of the church of >> the Laodiceans
- 1) 46 miles south of Philadelphia.
- 2) it was the banking center of the region.
- 3) Wealthy (in AD 60 Earthquake refused government help)
- 4) loved entertainment 30,000 seat amphitheater.
- 5) It built in a way that it could not defend itself militarily (Relied on compromise with enemies to survive)
- 6) known for the eye ointment manufactured there.
To the church of the Laodiceans. The Greek word laos, from which we get our word “laity,” means “people.” diece means “decision” or “rule.”
The church of the Laodiceans was directed by the people — rather than guided by the Lord.
That Laodicean mentality remains. Churches where people rule; where Pastors are voted in and out. They decide the topics, and what they want to hear. “Smile, be happy,” has replaced the message of repentance, the message of the cross.
[TEXT>>] (To them Jesus says) write, ‘These things says 1) the Amen, 2) the Faithful and True Witness, 3) the Beginning of the creation of God:
Amen = “so be it, (Que asi sea)” the “it is done.” (2 Corin 1:20 “For all the promises of God in Him are “Yes,” and in Him “Amen.”) Jesus is “the personification and the affirmation of the truth of God.”
He identifies himself to this group prone to compromise for survival, saying “There is certainty in me.”
The Faithful and True Witness:
Witness: = martus. —A witness is one who lives like Jesus and —is so in love with Jesus, that he ends up being crucified… even as Jesus Christ was crucified.
The Laodicean church mentality says “Don’t talk about suffering, or difficulty, or sickness. (you’ll scare people away) –We just want to be positive and happy, healthy and wealthy.”
2 Tim 3:12 “all those who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution..”
Beginning of the creation of God:
Beginning = arche. —Not of first in sequential order. Rather “the ruler, source, or origin,” —Jesus was not the first being created, but the ruler, source, and origin of all creation.
Colossians 1:16 “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible,… All things were created through Him and for Him.”
All of the traditional mainline Protestant denominations support or accept theistic evolution. For example, on 12 February 2006, the 197th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth was commemorated by “Evolution Sunday” where the message that followers of Christ do not have to choose between biblical stories of creation and evolution was taught sermons at many Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Unitarian, Congregationalist, United Church of Christ, Baptist and community churches
The Episcopal Church, according to whom the stories of creation in Genesis “should not be understood as historical and scientific accounts of origins but as proclamations of basic theological truths about creation.”
[TEXT>>] 15 “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, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
The city had no water supply of its own, but no problem, they were wealthy; —Colossae had cold water. — They built a pipeline to bring it from Colossae, but when the water arrived in the city, it had become lukewarm. —Coldwater didn’t work out, well how about hot water? They built a pipeline to bring it from the springs at Hierapolis. But when the water arrived in the city, it had become lukewarm…
“Hot water heals, cold water refreshes, but lukewarm water is useless for either purpose.” (L. Morris)
“I wish you were cold or hot”
“I wish you were cold or hot” because “If you were hot or cold I could do something with you. — But because you are neither, — I will do nothing.”
You have let your relationship with me grow cold, and now you are lukewarm. But that is not how you started, but that is what you are today. —Because you are uncommitted and in compromise.
No one vomits for fun… Vomiting is an involuntary, uncontrollable expulsion, resulting, driven by disgust, food poisoning, or indigestible substances we have ingested. —But to be honest, great relief is brought through it. We fight it, we try to avoid it.
[TEXT>>] 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched (suffering), miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
In their own estimation, they were doing well. They were great at balancing compromise. —As a result, they had become wealthy, they lacked nothing… so they thought “we are great!”
Reality is Jesus said: “You don’t even know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, naked and blind.” They were suffering and didn’t even know it!
We go to the Dr. Because we have symptoms, not because we know the problem. But what about when you are sick and don’t even feel it. Covid19- A systematic… you can be sick for a long time, spread it, share it and don’t even know it.
2 Cor 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”
There is no one more miserable than the lukewarm Christian is.
Many are living wretched and miserable Spiritual lives, because, they have too much of the world to be happy in Jesus, but too much of Jesus to be happy in the world. Compromise is stealing the spiritual Joy and blessings God has already laid aside for us.
Jesus doesn’t not want you to be wretched and miserable. He came to give you life and in abundance, and it starts now.
[TEXT>>] 18 I counsel you to —buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich;
-In Bible days, goldsmiths would take the gold brought in from the mines and heat it by fire until it liquefied. –-After stirring it until the impurities were burned out, they would know the process was complete when the goldsmith could look into the pot of liquid gold and see the reflection of his own face.
Jesus is the Master Smelter, He uses heat as well. So, to these people who were impure, carnal, vacillating, and lukewarm, He says, —“Get into the fire.— Get into the battle. —Engage yourself like you once did in ministry.”
In the Battle of Trafalgar, knowing this particular battle would determine the fate of Europe, Lord Nelson assembled his men and said, “In the event, you cannot see or read the signals in the heat of battle, know this: No captain in this fleet can do wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy.”
- When you feel yourself becoming complacent, get involved in service, in sharing, in ministry. Determine in your heart to engage yourself once more in the fire of ministry.
[TEXT>>] and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;
Is 61:10, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness”
Here the Lord says to them not only to get back into the race, but also to get back to grace.
Acts 14:1 “Preaching boldly about the Grace of the Lord”
Acts 13:43 “Continue to rely on God’s Grace”
Grace is not the starting point, Grace is the point.
Grace is not the starting point, Grace is the point. —God’s grace produces Holiness, not worldliness in our lives.
Heb 13:9 “for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by Grace.”
[TEXT>>] and — (to) anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Laodicea was the home of famed physician Demosthenes Philalethes who had a world-famous eye clinic and was where this highly-priced eye ointment was produced. It was a major revenue for the city. -History tells us that it was more snake oil than medicine, It didn’t work, it was a sham, but it made them famous.
Here we have Jesus, telling those who claimed to have the power to open the eyes, and heal sight, “You need to let me anoint your eyes, because my eye ointment will enable you to see your sin and repent.”
Woke and Blind
In the Spiritual landscape of today’s church, We can be such a “culturally woke church,” that is completely spiritually blind.
Reality is we can be blind, and don’t even know it.
Ps 139:23–24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; ”And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
[TEXT>>] 19 As many as I love (Phileo= Like = care for), -I rebuke (expose? bing to light the shame) and chasten (to discipline, to rear with the purpose of educate).
Heb 12:6, 8 “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”
Job 5:17 ““Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.”
[TEXT>>] — (In light of that) Therefore be (at once) zealous (Hot v16) and repent.
It is not too late
It is not too late, Make the decision to repent, choose to be on fire in zeal for God. Don’t be satisfied in compromise, happy with just religion.
[TEXT>>] 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone (Notice that Jesus gave the call to individuals. He didn’t say, “If any church,” but if anyone) hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to 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.
Painting By William Holman Hunt, Jesus standing at the door and knocking]
Jesus is speaking to “believers” —While the church at Philadelphia was “The Church of the Open Door,” the Laodicea was “The Church that had closed the door to Jesus.”
What leads us to close the door to Jesus… unrepentant sin (hatred, bitterness), living in personal spiritual compromise, (one-foot in the World, one foot in the Lord.)
–The Lord knows you are miserable, wretched, ashamed, because, they have too much of the world to be happy in Jesus, but too much of Jesus to be happy in the world. -He is knocking on your heart. Because He doesn’t want you to stay in that condition. But only you can respond to His knock.
Dine with him
Dine with him (individual), a specific meal known as the deipnon. “The deipnon was the main meal of the day and was a leisurely affair, not a hurried snack.” (L. Morris) This speaks of fellowship. This speaks of a depth to the relationship
[TEXT>>] 22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
Repentance is a beautiful Word.
There is no shame in repentance. The Word repentance the world has turned in to a dirty word. In reality, repentance is a beautiful word.
It means to come to your senses. To declare, you are right Lord. It is to choose life, to follow Christ. To turn around with your thoughts and actions. To receive another chance.
It is a beautiful word. It is pure love when God gives us the opportunity to repent. It may not always be there.