“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Today we will conclude looking at the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation. The last church mentioned is the church at Laodicea. Jesus begins this message with a strong rebuke. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” According to the text, this church had become self-sufficient. Their wealth caused them to stop relying on Jesus for health and vitality. Jesus saw this church as “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.” After He rebukes this church, He declares, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.” Jesus is letting them know that this rebuke is motivated by His love for them.
His instruction to this church is to “be earnest and repent.” To be earnest is to be honest with oneself. Before this church could be restored, it needed to be honest about its true condition. You have often heard it said, “The first step in the healing process is to recognize you have a problem.” This church needed to come to grips with its “lukewarm” approach to doing ministry. The use of the words, “hot nor cold,” refer to extremes. Jesus expects His bride to be passionate in its spiritual union with Him. Then of course, He instructs them to repent. Jesus lets this church know that He desires for them to experience passionate intimacy with Him.
This concludes the seven messages to the churches in Asia Minor. Because of the devotional format of this writing, I am not able to focus on all that I would like. I would encourage you to go back through this text and focus on how Jesus reveals Himself to each one of these churches. It is worth the time and effort to focus on the revelation of Jesus Christ. And keep this in mind: “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it.”
Questions to Ponder
Would your relationship with Jesus be described as lukewarm? Do you have a distorted view of your spiritual walk? Have you become complacent in your service to God? How does it make you feel to know that Jesus’ discipline is motivated by His love for you? What must you do in order to be honest in doing your own spiritual self-assessment? Have you accepted Jesus’ invitation to have fellowship with Him?
- Praise the Lord that He is 100% committed to you and His Bride/Church.
- Thank the Lord that even His rebuke is motivated by His great love for us.
- As you sit before Him, invite the Spirit of Truth to reveal areas in your walk where you might be lukewarm. Tell Him you are sorry.
- Pray for yourself and those He puts on your heart: “Lord, stir up a burning passion for You and Your name.”
Lord of heaven and earth, Shepherd of my soul, thank You for never leaving me or Your church as we are, but always calling us deeper in You and growing us up. Lord, help each one of us to be honest before You and each other, that we will repent and turn from our sins. Help us to respond to You and Your words. I ask that Your words would take root in each one of our hearts, and that we will live them out. Fill us up with Your Holy Spirit. Strengthen our inner man so that You, Jesus Christ, remain at the center of our hearts. Strengthen us so that we will know and take hold of the love You have for us, and love those around us. Be at the center of all we are and do. In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask. Amen.