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The Church at Laodicea

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Text:  Rev. 3:14-22

Thesis:  To prove that a Christian can’t be lukewarm and be pleasing to God.

Introduction:

1.          One can’t both serve God and man.

a.          Joshua told the Israelites to choose God or idols     (Jos. 24:15).

b.          Christ taught that no man can serve two masters    (Mat. 6:24).

2.          The problem with the church at Laodicea was that the members were neither cold nor hot (Rev. 3:16).

3.          Christ addresses the congregation at Laodicea.

a.          He is the Amen.

(1)          This word is intended to express certainty.

(2)          Christ is the certainty of God’s promises    (II Cor. 1:20).

(3)          This name, “Amen,” gave fixity to Christ’s purpose and character; this the Laodiceans lacked.

b.          He is faithful and true witness.

c.          His testimony is absolutely trustworthy.

(1)          His criticisms and warnings should be heeded.

(2)          3 things necessary to be a witness:

(a)          He must have first-hand knowledge of that to which He testifies and must have seen with His own eyes that to which He attests.

(b)          He must be competent to reproduce and relate this for others.

(c)          He must be willing to make this known faithfully and truthfully.

d.          He is the beginning of creation of God.

(1)          Christ is the source of all created beings and things, the active agent of God in creation.

(2)          Gen. 1:1-3; John 1:1-3, 10; Col. 1:15-17

4.          The text will be examined as follows:

a.          The situation of the church (Rev. 3:14-17).

b.          The solution for the church (Rev. 3:18-20).

c.          The security promised to the faithful            (Rev. 3:21-22).

Discussion:

I.              The situation of the church (Rev. 3:14-17).

A.          The church was neither cold nor hot.

1.          The church was neither chilled nor fervent.

2.          Christ expresses a deep regret at this condition.

3.          They needed to be “fervent in spirit      (Rom. 12:11).”

4.          If they were cold, then others could see their state and urge them to repent.

5.          They were doing just enough outwardly to appear faithful, but they were just putting on a face.

B.          The Lord would spew them out of His mouth.

1.          The word “lukewarm” means metaphorically to express a condition that produced nausea.

2.          A hot or cold beverage might refresh; but a lukewarm liquid produces nausea.

3.          Jehovah warned Israel of the land’s vomiting them out of the land if they defiled it by not keeping the Law (Lev. 18:22; 20:22).

4.          The Lord would spew the Laodiceans out in His abhorrence of their condition, separating them from Himself.

C.          The cause and consequence of their lukewarmness was that the church, deluded in its self sufficiency, was reaping the fruits of harvest.

1.          There was no real need for God; they were satisfied.

2.          The Pharisee was satisfied with himself   (Luke 18:11f.).

3.          In reality, man is ever an unprofitable servant, dependent upon God in every way and for every thing (Luke 17:10).

D.          In reality, this church was the “rich poor” one.

1.          They are called “wretched;” i.e., one dependent upon his own resources for deliverance.

2.          They are called “miserable;” i.e., one who has hoped in Christ only in this world but with no hope beyond the grave.

3.          They are called “poor;” i.e., one’s being reduced to begging or to a state of dependence on others for support.

4.          They are called “blind;” i.e., one who is spiritually blind and/or lacks the spiritual graces of growth.

II.         The solution for the church (Rev. 3:18-20).

A.          “Counsel thee” – The advice of a friend:

1.          They needed to buy gold from the Lord.

a.          Treasures need to be in Heaven        (Mat. 6:19-21).

b.          All treasures are in Christ (Col. 2:3).

2.          They needed to be clothed with white garments.

a.          “White” – indicates holiness           (cf. I Pet. 1:15-16).

b.          Only those who put on Christ in baptism and maintain the righteousness of God in Him, shall be properly clothed and not have their spiritual nakedness exposed to the world.

B.          They needed to be chastened by God’s word.

1.          To “chasten” implies correction and training of the moral and spiritual part of the person’s life, leading to the eradication of faults and sins.

2.          This is done because of love (cf. Heb. 12:6).

C.          There is an immediate call for repentance, and a constant and continuous zeal for the Lord.

D.          The Lord is pictured as seeking admittance into the life of this spiritually indifferent church from which He had been excluded (Rev. 3:20).

1.          To “sup” is to dine with Him in spiritual communion and fellowship.

2.          If we don’t let Christ in, then He will say to us “depart from me (Luk. 13:27).”

III.    The security promised to the faithful (Rev. 3:21-22).

A.          Christ overcame and was exalted (Phi. 2:6-11).

1.          He was placed on the right hand of God    (Eph. 1:20-21).

2.          He overcame the world (John 16:33).

B.          The redeemed sit with Him in this spiritual realm (Eph. 2:6).

1.          He reigned with Him in life (Rom. 5:17; Rev. 5:9).

2.          We shall reign with Him (II Tim. 2:11f.).

Conclusion:

1.          One can’t serve two masters nor can one be both hot and cold at the same time.

2.          The situation at Laodicea was that the brethren were lukewarm and this was displeasing to the Lord; thus, the solution for them was to repent and live for the Lord and they would be able to enjoy the security only found for the faithful.

3.          Are you one of the faithful ones who will be able to enjoy the eternal blessings?

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