The Lukewarm Church
This church, ‘The Lukewarm Church’ in my studied opinion, is the worst of the seven, as far as spiritually or the church doing what the church needs to be doing. Lukewarm, like the city where it is located, the people and the community in general, we in a comfort zone of life, they had the location on the ‘Roman Road’, and was a big trade center; it was also a center for medicine, and produced an eye powder and ointment to heal the eye from various conditions.
It had bad water, which came from springs eight miles across the valley, through an aqueduct. Some scholars say the springs were hot and held a high content of minerals being high in Sulfur, and became lukewarm while traveling through the aqueduct. The sulfur and temperature made it horrible. These same scholars claim that the city and water is where Jesus gained His comparison points. Nevertheless, the method in which I use these seven churches as inspecting my condition in Christ, we have a few more points to consider.
Revelation 3:14—22 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write. ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God; 15). ‘I know your works, and that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.’ 16). ‘So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17). ‘Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18). ‘I counsel you to buy from Me, gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and anoint your eyes with the eye salve, that you may see. 19), ‘as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. 20). ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock, 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. 22). ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
The angel of the church of the Laodiceans. Some historians say this may well be, Archippus. Should this Archippus be the son of Philemon, he well may have been the Pastor of the church at Laodicea. This is in an attempt to identify the Pastor at that time. Then the authority of Jesus as the Amen, used here as a name for Jesus, the Faithful, True Witness, and as in the gospel of John, chapter one: Jesus being the Word, and Creator of all things, all that was created was created by Jesus, and nothing was created except by him. Jesus is firmly God, God incarnate on the face of the planet He created, and walking amongst His creation—mankind. There, do not be confused by the order of the words “The beginning of the creation of God’… God has no beginning, and has no end and is every present, transcending all time space and matter. God is the “uncaused” cause of all that exists.
This is who is saying what is said to the church. John, at the command of Jesus used his human hand to pen what Jesus dictated to him, it is the word of God written by the human hand of john. It is God breathed.
“I know your works, and that you are neither cold nor hot.” Jesus is simply saying..(my paraphrase),.. Dear ones, your condition makes me sick at my stomach. Have you ever had that feeling of being so disgusted with someone, especially someone one who just wants to argue, and will not listen. It is so frustrating they or it make you sick. Thus the phrase, “you make me sick”. It is generally a behavior issue.
Nonetheless, I can imagine this is what Jesus is feeling, if you are going to be my disciple then be a disciple and do what I want you to do. Stop just playing as if you are a Christian, and be one, stop looking like a Christian church and be one.
Studying these churches, one thing is apparent, the ones receiving rebuke have some common elements, they lose focus on Jesus and the spiritual things necessary to walk the walk, be doers of the word, not hearers only. They lose focus, they dabble in the things of the world, which they truly know they should not. The human nature is simply too deceitful and powerful for Christians to play with.
Three areas, which very well may lead to a corrupted spirit for the Christian. Money, power, and sexual desires. This was Laodicea, others worshiped several false gods, they were busy getting rich, and living, (the good life), or a depraved life. The Christians were trying to straddle the fence in a heathen culture. When people try to be both ways, the way of the world, and the way of God, it is not long before their lives reflect neither.
Here, the Laodicean church, said they were rich in their increase and have need for nothing; that reflects how the world thinks when they have wealth, and spiritual pride. This is sure the case, if Archippus is actually the pastor to which the letter is addressed. He was wealthy, and surely full of spiritual pride; his church was rich, and increasing, they needed nothing, nothing except the Holy Spirit, and making disciples, it was a forerunner of the ‘mega-church’ self-contained, and not in need for anything. Do not misinterpret this as to think I am against all large churches, I am not, however, I am against the concept or ideology of most mega churches; by trying to please everyone they lose focus on what the church is all about.
Spiritually, the church was stagnate no movement. The Christian cannot be stagnate, they have to move in one direction or the other; preferably forward with God. Jesus tells them they are wretched, (I love that word, it delineates so much and so many in the world today), God through Paul, tells us that we are in this world but not of this world. My question is, why then, do we try so hard to make the world love us? It makes no sense to me as to why I would want to compromise my faith, to accommodate the evil of the world. There is no legitimate reason, unless I actually did not have the faith in the first place.
This Laodicean church’s condition should resonate a continuous sound of warning to the Christian who thinks they are being persecuted, actually we are, but not like Christians once were, and are today in Muslim countries. We are being verbally belittled and mocked for our faith, and the heathens try everything to belittle the true believers, and to think it is okay to blasphemy the name of Jesus, mock God. They know that in doing so we will not push back, and their freedom of expression to do it, but the same freedom is not for the Christians. When they do away with the moral values that do not fit their agenda. Yes, I would suppose that moral values in the United States, are based on religion, nonetheless, they are the values that made us great, we were never perfect, the nation makes mistakes, as a nation we fix the mistakes and move on. As a nation with little moral values left, we may say with certain truth, we are now more of a heathen nation than we are a Christian nation; although, the numbers do not support it.
Jesus does not want us to be like the world, even the good people of the world, who simply wink at sin, and keep ‘spinning’ the same old things. There has been denominations, which have compromised on the Word of God, and the Christian faith, and become spiritually stagnate, even bankrupt. Let me tell you folks, Jesus promised he would vomit the vile lukewarm Christians from his mouth.
When the heathen and compromiser, attempts to justify getting rid of moral values by claiming we cannot judge people, simply let them know; that we are not judging them, because God has already done that; we are judging the sin. It is our job number one, to persevere in the faith, and keep doing the work of the church as laid out in scripture.
Doing the work of the church, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, is becoming more and more difficult, especially in the Western world; the rest of it is Communist or Muslim, except for Israel. Of course, after the dark ages, the Western world was Western Europe and the Americas. South America was the Spanish speaking predominately Roman Catholic, Western Europe predominately Roman Catholic and Anglican, (Church of England). The Reformation and Pro-test-ants, against the Roman Catholic Theology, not only separated from the Roman Catholic, but brought Reformers, and a few radical purest groups from out of Germany, Holland, Etc., the protestant Christian church was ignited and the flame spread.
Under the persecution of the Crown, the various Christian groups set sail to the New World, where they could practice their Christian religion without fear from the government, (The Crown); thus we find the various documents or covenants to declare there would be no interference from the government. The Christians were coming to settle the Colonies. Later the Declaration of Independence would give religion, the freedom to pursue, and worship as they saw fit, and that the government would not have the authority to establish a ‘state religion.’
The nation became the greatest nation on the planet, and although not perfect, the best in the world. To change it would mean to change the culture and to change the culture it had to change its values, they slowly did that over time, and the result is a chaotic heathenism rule as a minority.
As heathenism accelerated, it stayed and will continue to stay a “minority rule” not the democracy of Majority rule as intended. Now we have humanism invading the church, humanism is the motivation for compromise of the faith. We now have several denominations who have attempted to walk the line of humanism, and the faith, the result is they have compromised the Word of God, and compromised their Christian beliefs.
The churches, as described, (and they know who they are), should pay attention to this letter, and the one just prior. What sort of church does Jesus want? Surely the church that perseveres in the face of the humanist evil, and the world; keeps the faith while doing the work of the church. Of course, we may have some things that are not right, we are not perfect, but keep clinging to the Bible persevering in the world, in chaotic madness, keeping strong in the faith, and doing the work of the church.
Yes, I am aware of the liberal theologies, of course they have been around for nearly as long as the church, and the liberal theologies claiming to be Christian, is where I have my struggle. I struggle with how liberal theologies twist, and misrepresent the Bible, to change the meaning or do away with selected parts, or passages, which are essential to the proper Christian spiritual growth. Therefore, they create their own doctrines, and remove the ultimate authority of the Bible, as God breathed, yet penned by human hands. It is my studied opinion that when a portion of the Bible disagrees with ideology, therefore, it is not relevant or can be disregarded and replaced with man’s doctrine; the remaining, untroublesome doctrines must by necessity, be disregarded as well. My point is where is their salvation? If there is no biblical salvation—then are they Christian?
Those who oppose the Christian doctrine of Soteriology, (Salvation by grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ), made by the free will, and with heartfelt conviction wrought by the Holy Spirit, not of works, silver, or gold; then they have not been saved, they are not justified before God.
The Lords words are harsh and justified for the lukewarm church. A church that claims to be Christian and is lukewarm will be vomited from the mouth of God. Yet God loves His creation to the extent of giving them the second chance, to be hot in the faith, or to be cold in heathenism.
Buy from Him, gold refined in the fire, is to say there is no cost the gold refined is spiritual and the cost is not going to be acceptable to all, it will cost you your life. Whoa preacher, what did you say? It will cost your life as it was; for the old life will pass away, old things will become new. The old nature crucified in Christ, and you will become a new creation, with a new nature.
The purchase of the white garments is with the collateral of your heart felt profession of Jesus as Lord and Savior. It is the white garments, which are seen by the Father, they are the righteousness of Jesus, who’s blood paid for the sins of the world, past, present, and future; it is important to know and understand personal salvation, faith, and the faith in which we are to persevere.
The invitation is for you to look closely inside, deep in your soul; is your spirit alive? If so, I invite you to examine yourself, spiritually; what is the condition of your intimate love relationship with Jesus? Only your truthfulness with yourself will make the evaluation relevant. You can lie to yourself, even convince yourself that you are okay—but you cannot lie to Jesus. Then you can make your choice, because no one can make it for you, not even God. Is Jesus standing at the door and knocking? Are you willing to open that door?