Friday, November 4, 2011
The Laid Back Laodiceans
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
I would criticize this church that Jesus condemned if I weren't part of it! The Lord had no commendations to give to this church like He did the other six, only condemnation.
The letters to the 7 churches have a 3-fold interpretation.
*First, they are messages meant for the actual churches which operated in first century Asia Minor.
*Second, they were written to the churches of 7 general time periods of the church age. Ephesus being the 1st century and Laodicea, the 20th and 21st century. The characteristics of churches during these periods and the history of the world seem to parallel the tenor of these 7 letters.
*And finally, these letters are written to all churches of the entire church age. Various churches have emulated the characteristics of these 7 various churches despite the era. There are Philadelphian churches and Ephesian churches in operation during our Laodicean age. It is an “if the shoe fits, wear it!” proposition.
According to the second interpretation, we would be living in the Laodicean church age. It is an age where the churches tend to be lukewarm; not on fire, not cool and refreshing. In other words, the churches are fairly innocuous, apathetic, ineffective, irrelevant. I would say that is an apt description of the majority of churches these days.
Additionally, we get to thinking we are all that. We are so self-sufficient and independent, not realizing how spiritually needy we are.
The worst indictment of all is that Jesus is on the outside, wanting to come back in!
Yet God, in His love and mercy, continues to sprinkle favor and blessing upon the churches of today. Souls are being saved and missionaries are being sent to the field. We had better wake up, see our miserable condition, repent and do what we are called to do.
By the way, we are not talking about the mainline denominations, up shoots or the Romanists. This Laodicean church is one of the candlesticks among which Jesus walked. It is (they are) legitimate church(es). This letter is to us, brethren. There is no justification in finger pointing, only introspection and appropriate action.