This is the last of the seven letters that Jesus dictated to His apostle John on the Isle of Patmos, and instructed him to send to the seven churches in Asia. The churches were in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. If you missed the previous parts of this series, you can quickly catch up by reading the first three chapters of Revelations.
One may quip those letters were not to us, but I beg to differ. If you have read these and haven’t felt a touch of the Lord on your heart, you just may have a cold, callous heart. God gives us a new heart when we decide to believe in His Son, Jesus the Christ.
We call ourselves the Church, believing Jesus is the Head of our Church, so these letters apply to each and every one of us, and we need to take these letters to heart, realizing most firmly that He is not joking. It is not a spiritual game, it is not just a book, and it is not just a belief. It is truth, it is life to all who reach out with their eyes of faith to believe in Christ Jesus and the words He’s preaching to us today! Open your ears and “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!”
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
I must say two things, but remember I’m not deciphering God’s Word. It is written that God’s Holy Spirit is our Teacher, and we have no need of a teacher! But that’s only if we have His Spirit within us through faith and belief in our risen Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. If you’re not a believer in Christ Jesus as the Son of God and son of man, who was born of a virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and arose from the dead three days later, and ascended into heaven where He lives and is seated at the right hand of God almighty, then you don’t have His Spirit within you, and yes, you do need a teacher!
First, verses 15 & 16, being lukewarm. To me, that’s not having made a decision yet, or a people pleaser. I recently spoke to a woman who couldn’t make up her mind where she stood on anything she spoke about. If I said one thing she agreed to that; yet if I said the opposite in a different way, she’d switch to that. She was so confused, outwardly to me, that I wondered where she actually stood within her own self. Do you know where you stand, or are you one who changes with each way the wind blows, in order to please others and ‘fit in’ with the people you are speaking to at the moment? Do you act one way with one group of people and become a chameleon with another group? It’s one thing to be liked by all types of people, but to all of them we should be a person who has determined in our heart to stand fast on the Word of God. We shouldn’t budge from our belief and should be brave enough (“zealous”) to confess our faith to each group of people we encounter, and then all will know where we stand, and we will be hot and not lukewarm!
The other verse I’d like to comment on is verse 19: God chastens those He loves. That’s really comforting. I did the same thing to my kids, and they resented it. I have friends who are living lives full of sinful things, according to the Word of God, and the troubles in their lives are numerous, and one day at lunch they said to me “Well, I know God isn’t causing them, because He doesn’t punish us.” But that’s not true, is it? If we are His, He will continue to guide us in and out of relationships for our growth and chastisement, as long as we believe in His dear Son, Jesus. Thank You Lord, for unanswered prayers, for sometimes we just can’t see what is best for us, but You always do!