Sunday Service | Mt. Zion Church | 18 November 2018 | Church in Laodicea | 7 End-Times Churches Series | Revelation 3:14-22
The book of Revelation is about prophecy of the end times, about things which must shortly take place. God said, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Rev.1:1-3. The book of Revelation was opened with the greeting to the 7 churches which are in Asia. The most important concern for believers is not about the geographical location of those 7 churches but more about the message, the warning, and also the promises that given to them. God said that John must write in a book about everything that he saw in that heavenly vision and send it to the 7 churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea Rev.1:11. Simply we can say that those 7 churches represents the various condition of the body of Christ in this world, specially in this last days.
In chapter 1, Christ introduce Himself as someone with full authority and ready to execute the judgment and punishment because the time is already at end. John saw Jesus clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And all that vision made John fell at his feet as dead Rev.1:12-20. John was very surprised since the appearance of Jesus Christ was totally different compared to His first coming born as baby in the manger at Bethlehem. Yet He is the same Jesus, He is who lives and was dead and now alive forevermore. In that vision John can learn that there will be no more delay as Jesus come with full authority to finish everything. And Jesus wanted that His appearance declared to all 7 churches, so they can be more serious and watchful since everything that John saw will shortly take place. The seventh message was given to church in Laodicea as below.
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. 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.”’” Revelations 2:8-11 NKJV
1: APPEARANCE OF CHRIST
Jesus introduced Himself as Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, also the Beginning of the creation of God. AMEN is normally uttered at the end of a prayer or hymn, meaning ‘so be it’. But during His ministry in Israel, Jesus liked to say ‘Amen’ mostly at the beginning (101x – translated as ‘verily’) rather than at the end (1x)! Jesus always very serious and cautious with His word. He is always AMEN for all His teaching. For all the promises of God in Jesus are Yes and Amen 2Cor.1:20. He will fulfil all His words and promises. He will never say anything useless. He will not waste His words.
Jesus also introduced Himself as the Faithful and True Witness. He asked all believers to be a witness because He is also a witness indeed. No one has seen God at any time, but Jesus had declared Father God for us Jn.1:18. He is the only way to the Father Jn.14:6. He is faithful and always true for everything He already witnessed for us. When Jesus promised so many mansions for us in His Father’s house Jn.14:2, we can definitely believe for that. How wonderful is that to have Jesus in our life!
2: THE GOOD AND THE BAD
The biggest problem in church of Laodiceans is they were lukewarm! Jesus said, “I could wish you were cold or hot.” Being lukewarm is the serious problem for any believer. Being lukewarm is the trick of the devil to defeat believers! Another words for being lukewarm is unenthusiastic, being mediocre, just an average, in the middle of the road, second rate, and so on. We must know that there will no lukewarm Christians in heaven! Jesus will vomit them out of His mouth. A lukewarm faith is so distasteful for God! God wants us to be fervent in the Spirit and serving the Lord Rom.12:11. In another word, the opposite of being lukewarm is being zealous for God! When Jesus cleansed the Holy Temple of God in Jerusalem, then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” Jn.2:17, Psa.69:9. While no one care for the condition of the Holy Temple, Jesus did! And it brings Him to make a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple. The lukewarm spirit will make someone become apathetic (showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern). The lukewarm spirit was defined as having a form of godliness but denying its power 2Ti.3:5. The lukewarm spirit will produce unpowered Christian!
In the case of Laodiceans, lukewarm spirit occurred because of the side-effect of blessing! They said, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing.” They felt that they can buy everything, able to have everything, and no need to ask God for anything! The treasure of this world makes their eyes become blind, so they forgot to get prepared for the heavenly treasure. Jesus said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul Mat.16:26?” Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses Luk.12:15. There was a very strong warning regarding richness: “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy 1Tim.6:17.” Anyone could easily worship the idol of wealth due to its direct benefit and instant effect of having it! That’s why Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon Mat.6:24.”
Jesus asked the Laodiceans to buy from Him 3 important things: gold refined in the fire, white garments, and the eye salve! The lukewarm spirit will bring people to be wretched, miserable, and poor in the presence of God. They feel good in this world because they live in abundance, lack of nothing, but eternally they have nothing! Our money will have no meaning in the heaven. Our wealth will become trash in God’s eyes. The most precious things in His eyes is the gold which refines in the fire, which is the genuineness of our faith 1Pet.1:7. We need to ‘buy’ it from God, we need to ask it from Him, we must ask Him to refine our faith, our life, our character, so we can be found precious in His sight! David lifted a prayer: “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart Psa.26:2.” Or in another word, we can simply see how David passionately asked for a refining fire, so he could become more precious in God’s eyes. The many years of struggling from the pursue of Saul had refined the character of David, so God can say, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will Ac.13:22.”
The lukewarm spirit will make people became naked in God’s eyes, have no white garment. They assumed having everything, but indeed they don’t have anything, even a piece of cloth, to cover their body in God’s presence! We also need to ‘buy’ a white garment from God. We must pursue holiness, without which no one will see the Lord Heb.12:14. The most important beauty in God’s eyes is holiness! Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness Psa.29:2. Jesus is looking for the holy bride, He wants to sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish Eph5:25-26.
The lukewarm spirit will also make people become blind, so they are not able to see God! They will not have any skill to see the eternity. The only thing that they want to be concern about is this world and always this world! The lukewarm Christian will choose to stay in Egypt with all its wealth and very comfort life. While a fervent Christian, like Moses, will choose to leave Egypt and pursue the land of promise Heb.11:25-27. Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin! Moses was esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. By faith Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. The eye salve from God is the only thing that will enable us to open the eyes of our heart widely! We need the anointing and the power of Holy Spirit, so we will be able to see just like what Moses saw, so we will be able to esteem the right and the eternal thing just like what Moses did, so we will be able to take the right decision leaving ‘Egypt’ just like what Moses did! We must ‘buy’ this eye salve! We must invest our time to abide in God’s presence, worship Him more and more, so we can get this eye salve, heavenly branded, fresh from the heaven, from time to time, so we can always see how wonderful and how glorious our calling is!
3: THE PROMISE
Jesus said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent.” The rebuke was given because of LOVE! We must have the attitude of repentance and get ready to be zealous for God. Jesus is ready to prepare the feast in our house. He wants to come, He knocks the door of our heart. For those who want to repent and be responsive, He will amazingly prepare the table of feast and dine with us! How amazing is that! For those who overcomes the lukewarm spirit, Jesus will grant to sit with Him on His throne, as He also overcame and sat down with His Father on His throne. Let’s repent from any apathetic attitude and be more zealous from now on. Do not let the devil bring any believers to hibernate! That’s an evil trick! We must wake up, let’s buy that refined gold, that white garment, and also the eye salve! The dinner is ready to be brought to our house, Jesus is ready to dine with us, even He will grant us to sit together with Him in the eternity. AMEN.Tags: laodicea, rev3