Revelation 3:14-17 ESV
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.’”
The Lord Jesus has often used this passage of scripture as a description of the worldly adulterous flesh-driven church here in America (USA). It fits perfectly. We are (or we were) a wealthy nation, too.
Overall we are a proud people, although not every American is. But, many are very proud of our heritage and our form of government, and of our military forces, not realizing, most of them, about our true heritage, who our government works for, and what all our military forces have been doing against the people of the world for many generations.
The church in America, overall, but not including every congregation, has united with the government in an unholy union, thus placing the government in a position as head over the church. And, they have joined forces with the world and with big business, and they have turned God’s house, his body, into a marketplace, which they market to the world with worldly means.
Worship services have been turned into stage productions. Pastors have been turned into clowns, comedians and entertainers. The Word of God has largely been replaced with books written by mere mortals, or with movies. And, the Holy Spirit has largely been replaced with marketing schemes and gimmicks in order to attract the world to the gatherings of “the church.”
Thus, since the goal of this market-driven and flesh-driven church is to attract the world, they have also diluted the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more acceptable and palatable to the flesh of man. So, they have robbed the cross of Christ of its power by removing the biblical requirements of repentance and obedience to Christ for salvation from sin and eternal life with God, which has left its adherents still bound in their sin, headed to hell.
Thus, it is producing lukewarm “Christians,” who feel that faith in Jesus Christ grants them free license to continue in their sinful practices.
Revelation 3:18-19 ESV
“’I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.’”
So, the Lord Jesus has been counteracting this false diluted gospel, and he has been proclaiming the true gospel, through his servants, to awaken the lukewarm church to the truth of the gospel, and to expose to them the lies that they are believing so that they will turn away from the lies to the truth.
Through his messengers, his servants, the truth of the gospel has been going out throughout the world, and the lies are being refuted on a daily basis. For, our Lord Jesus did not give his life up for us on that cross to free us from the penalty of sin so that we could go on living in sin without guilt.
Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He gave his life for us that we might now become God’s possession and that we might now glorify God with our lives. He who knew no sin became sin for us on that cross that we might now become the righteousness of God, and that we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Pet. 2:24).
When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, which is God-given faith, we die with Christ to sin, and we are resurrected to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old lives of living for sin and self are put to death and now we walk in obedience to our Lord by the Spirit of God, in his power, wisdom and strength (Lu. 9:23-26; Acts 26:18; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Tit. 2:11-14).
Now we must walk (in practice, in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God, and not according to our flesh. Sin should no longer be our master. Jesus is to be our only Lord. We should no longer be those who walk in darkness (sin, wickedness), but now we should be those who walk in the light (truth, righteousness).
But, this isn’t optional. We don’t “get saved” and then one day when we die we go to heaven. We are being saved and our salvation won’t be complete until Jesus returns and he takes us to be with him forever. Thus, we must walk according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, if we want to have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8).
So, the Lord is calling his adulterous, and idolatrous, and flesh-driven lukewarm church to repent of her sins and to return to him as her only Lord and master. And, to repent is not just to have a change of mind, but it is to turn away from our former lives of sin, and it is to turn to God to follow him in surrender and in obedience to his commands, and to walk in his love.
Revelation 3:20-22 ESV
“’Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
There are many different thoughts on why Jesus is standing outside the church (not a physical building, but our hearts) asking to be let inside. Some people feel the Laodicean church is not the true church but a false church, or the apostate church, and some even believe there is no hope for her at all.
Truly, if they have never repented of their sins, and if they have never turned to the Lord with God-given faith, which submits to Christ as Lord, and which walks according to the Spirit, but their profession of faith is lip service only, then that would explain why Jesus is on the outside, because he never was truly ever on the inside, and so this would have always been a false church.
Another thought on this is that Jesus is on the outside because he has been pushed out of this church due to the quenching of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t mean he has left the hearts of true believers in Jesus, but that he has been pushed out of their lives by their adulteries and idolatries. They have wandered off to follow after the gods of this world, and therefore he has been crowded out by all their fleshliness and worldliness.
Either way, Jesus is knocking on their hearts’ doors, and he is asking for them to let him truly be their Lord and master. He is asking that they let him be the one on the throne of their lives, and that they submit their lives to him in walks of obedience to his commands. He is desiring to be in intimate fellowship with them, but that will never happen if they are walking in darkness and if they are bowing to the gods of this world, instead.
If they want to have eternal life with God and deliverance from their sinful lifestyles, they have to submit to God, leave their sins behind them, and follow our Lord in obedience (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).
Jesus told this church that, because they were neither totally on fire for him nor were they totally opposed to him, but they were lukewarm, that he was going to spit them out of his mouth, so this is some type of judgment. And, then he went on to say, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” But, then he added that the one who conquers will be with him for eternity, basically.
I believe the worldly and fleshly church in America is under the judgment of God right now via this “pandemic” and the draconian stipulations we are all under at present, but this may encompass the worldly church at large throughout the world. But, there is much talk right now of our nations or our specific nation, state by state, reopening and returning to some semblance of “normal,” although I don’t believe we will see “normal” again.
But, this short period of time that we have been under this lockdown or stay-at-home orders, has it revived the adulterous, idolatrous and lukewarm church? I don’t see that yet, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening somewhere. But, if nothing has really changed, then do we really want things to go back to “normal,” if “normal” is the lukewarm church going on as usual?
So, my challenge here is for us to pray about this. What is most important here? Our personal comfort, or the revival of the church and the salvation of human lives? Are we willing to have this continue or get much worse if it means that the worldly church is revived, that they do conquer, and that they do get to spend eternity with God in heaven?
God Be with You till We Meet Again
Jeremiah E. Rankin, William G. Tomer
God be with you till we meet again;
by his counsels guide, uphold you,
with his sheep securely fold you;
neath his wings securely hide you,
daily manna still provide you;
when life’s perils thick confound you,
put his arms unfailing round you;
keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
smite death’s threatening wave before you;
God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet,
till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.
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