Revelation 3:15-21 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
18 So I advise you to buy gold from Me–gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from Me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with Me on My throne, just as I was victorious and sat with My Father on His throne.
It is easy to be so well blessed that you forget where the blessings come from and you start to depend on the blessings instead of the one who blesses. The church at Laodicea didn’t think that they were lacking anything but Jesus had very harsh words for them.
“You are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
Those are pretty serious words and they must have been hard to accept, this congregation thought that their gold and their fine garments and the ointment that their city was famous for were signs that God was pleased with them. But Jesus offers us so much more than the riches and pleasures of this world.
Jesus has better gold, better garments and better ointment. Just like the Samaritan women at the well who was offered the Living Water, just like the crowd that was offered the Bread of life, the things that the world has to offer are never as good as the things that Jesus has for us. (Revelation 3:18)
This church thought that they were doing a good job, they were busy building themselves up, they thought that they were rich but Jesus says that they are poor. This stands in contrast to the church at Smyrna that thought it was poor and Jesus said that they are rich. (Revelation 2:9-10)
This church reminds me of God’s children in the Old Testament, most of the time they were proud of the fact that they were not too radical, they thought that they could please God while they embraced the ways of the people around them.
1 Kings 18:21 Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.
It seems a lot like the church today in America. We don’t like to be offensive but the gospel is offensive. We don’t like to be different from the rest of the world but that is exactly the way God’s children are called to be.
“So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”
Our everyday lives lack passion for the Lord, the message to Laodicea is also to us, get hot for Jesus, be radical instead of ordinary. A zeal for the things of God will cause us to cheerfully work for him and our love for him will help us stand for truth because when we love something strongly then we will hate all that is against it.
Jesus is waiting for us to let him into our church, it sounds a little bit strange, the church has to be willing to have him in order for him to come in. Jesus has gone to extreme measures to get to the door but he will not open the door and force his way into our congregation. We often use these verses to lead lost people to Christ, but the basic application here is to the church that received this letter.
In this new year we need to decide how hot we are going to be for Jesus. The natural state for us to seek is to be comfortable, doing just enough church stuff to make us feel good, very few people like to be overly hot or cold but as a follower of Jesus we don’t get to stay comfortable if we want to please Him.
Let’s be radical in our love for Jesus, radical in our obedience to His Word, this is the only appropriate response for God’s children to have.