2008-07-08 - Laodicea
Revelation 3:14-22 (NKJV) 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. 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. 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.
In the Christian life, there will be obstacles to overcome. Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that God saved us to a physically better life here and now. But he came two thousand years ago to bring us spiritual not physical salvation; this is why the Jews did not recognize him as the savior; they were waiting for someone to overthrow Caesar's reign when Jesus overthrew Satan's reign. A few years ago, I killed a snake. I took his head completely off with a shovel but for a long time he continued to wriggle around. He was moving around so much that I thought maybe I had just pinned him and was afraid to pick up the shovel thinking he would strike. Satan is like that. Christ killed him at Calvary but he still wriggles around trying to see what damage he can do.
This letter was written to a very real church in a time when Christians were much persecuted. This letter doesn't make a promise to those who avoid but to those who overcome. Overcoming then and now involves staying faithful despite the persecution that may come your way. And to us who keep the faith he promises that we will sit with him on his throne. That's a pretty good promise if you ask me.
Lastly, in this letter Jesus admonishes the readers to really hear what he has to say. I hope this series on the letter to Laodicea has helped you to hear what this letter has been saying to the church over the years.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted