Revelation 3: 14-22, Laodicea, the apostate church.
14 “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, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
Laodicea in Greek means “people rule”. Laodicea was an affluent University town in Turkey during the Roman period.
Christ partial revelation to Laodicia, “the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God”. Witness in Greek means martyr. Jesus is the faithful witness and He was martyred for it. He is the pre-existent creator of the universe.
Word of commendation: none, Jesus had nothing good to say for Laodicia.
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 eye salve, that you may see.
Words of rebuke: Laodicea received the most severe rebuke from the Lord. The Lord will vomit them out of His mouth because they were lukewarm and indifferent. Hotsprings from Heirapolis, present-day (Pammukale in Turkey) supplied water to Laodicia but it became lukewarm when reached the city. They were the happy-go-lucky, materially rich but empty in the soul. They did not realize how spiritually bankrupt they were. Anyone who did not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour is spiritually bankrupt no matter how rich they were. Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. They were blinded by material possessions. They need to repeat and be lukewarm no more. They need to come back to the Lord and be on fire for the Lord again.
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.”
Personal application: Repent, get back into the fire and understand your need of grace. Be zealous, change your mind, turn around, go back to the word again. Jesus is standing at the door and knocking. He wants fellowship with you. He is knocking but you must open the door. Are you going to be lukewarm for another year? Open the door and invite Jesus to come into your heart again. Get right with the Lord again. The Lord had not given up on you. He did not walk away from you. He is walking amid the 7 churches.
Historical application: Laodicea corresponds to the apostate church, from 1950 until now. Statistics showed that 70-80 % of church goers today are lukewarm and indifferent. Only 20-30% of churchgoers are fervent and are on fire for the Lord. Most churches today are lukewarm people-pleasing, people-friendly, seeker-sensitive, and some denominations even allowed liberalism to creep in.