Laodicea - The Lukewarm Church

We read of a vessel discovered a century ago, among the icebergs of the Arctic ocean, with the captain frozen as he was making his last entry in the logbook. The crew were discovered, some in their hammocks and some in the cabin, all frozen to death. The last date in the logbook … More

Lukewarmness

This last of the seven churches, Laodicea, is located about 45 miles southeast of Philadelphia and about 90 miles east of Ephesus the city in the first letter. It was a large city specializing in the manufacture of wool and a center for making medicines. Pride and self-satisfaction characterized the people. It was destroyed by the Moslems in the Middle Ages, and today is a mass of ruins.

It is widely thought that things on earth and the visible church will steadily improve until the Lord comes. Laodicea is at large the church of the end times and reveals the church in its true condition. There is nothing to commend this church, although it thinks it is perfect (v.17). The Lord’s condemnation is severe as he says they are lukewarm (vv. 15-16), proud (v.17) and spiritually ignorant (v. 17). Boasting of wealth and methods of organization, it fails to realize the absence of spiritual life in its midst. There threefold need consisted of poverty, nakedness, and blindness (v. 18). The church at Laodicea is typical of a modern church, quite unconscious of its spiritual needs and content with beautiful buildings and all the material things money can buy. The chapter ends with:

  1. A call to repentance (v. 19).
  2. An invitation to accept Christ (v. 20).
  3. A promise to the “overcomer” (v. 21).
  4. The command to hear (v. 22).

Application

Lord, help me to take an honest look at my life. If Jesus took my spiritual temperature today, what would He find? Hot? Cold? Or Lukewarm? He doesn’t like a cold heart but He hates being lukewarm.

Revelation 3:14-22 (English Standard Version)

"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"

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