Thursday, November 13, 2014

What Does the Seven Churches Say to the Genuine Believer (Part 5)

The Church @ Laodicea - the lukewarm church

Christ tells John once again to write to the representative of this church

  • Christ says I know your works, I know, I am aware of your activity
  • What I know is that your attitude is neither hot nor cold
  • Because you are lukewarm [neither cold nor hot] I will vomit you out of my mouth
  • I know that you think and say that you are rich and in need of nothing

  • You are wretched
  • You are miserable
  • Poor
  • Blind
  • Naked

The tragdey is that you don't even know it

  • So here is what I am telling you to do

  • Buy gold from me, pure gold -without impurities

  • You will have proper wealth or riches
  • Clothe yourself in proper garments
  • Anoint your eyes so that you can see

  • I am outside your church, knocking to come in
  • If you let me in I will fellowship with you

What Does It Mean to be Lukewarm?

John used the Greek word cliaros

It means warm or tepid
It is not used in the LXX or in the NT
However it is used metaphorically in Rev 3 to describe the love/commitment of the Laodicean Church

--warm or tepid - slightly warm, room temperature

This church is mediocre in regards to spiritual things or the things of God
They were not outright spiritually destitute but they had no spiritual fervor

  • They were not hot - they did not possess a healthy spiritual temperature
  • They were not cold - they were indifferent to spiritual fervor

The waters of Hierapolis was hot or boiling - they provided some medicinal value
The waters of Colosse were cold - they provided refreshemnt

The "water" of Laodicea was tepid, lukewarm and did not provide anything beneficial

It is interesting, at least to me, that Jesus prefers the church to be either or. It amazes me that Christ would prefer the church to be ineffective. I can understand  him wanting the church to effective, but being ineffective or cold or dead is better than being busy with no love or fervor for God at all.

Christ would rather have rejection and even hostility than to say that you possess Christianity but remain untouched or unmoved by its "life" and "fire." There seems to be more hope for the open enmity but little or no hope for the absolute indifferent.

Who Are the Lukewarm?

An important question to me is who are those who are being charged with lukewarmness? Are they believers or are they unbelievers?

Some have suggested that these are Christians in the church (majority) who are "backslidden"

Some have suggested that these are individuals in the church who have heard the gospel, but responded without the aid of the HS or regeneration

Some have suggested that these are individuals who are unbelievers who have rejected the gospel openly and aggressively

  • I do not think these folks are Christians

  • First - Christ would not reject Christians (vomit you out of my mouth) Christ would chastise and correct His wayward, disobedient, or apathetic children

  • Second - Christ would not "evangelize" Christians - "buy from me what you need"

  • Christians aren't wretched - we are blessed having been accepted in the beloved
  • Christians aren't miserable - we are not destitute
  • Christians aren't poor-  Christ became poor to make believes rich
  • Christians aren't blind - with regeneration we now have spiritual ears and eyes
  • Christians aren't naked - we have been clothed with Christ's righteousness

To be continued…

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