Revelation 3:14-16 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.’”
This reminds me much of the modern market-driven church here in America. They gather as the church, but many of them have no clue what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. For, many of them are following a false Christ which is being marketed by “the church” to the world.
They are also following a false gospel of salvation created in the minds of human beings which is a half-truth (lie) gospel message. It is an adulterated gospel message aimed at tickling itching ears, soothing people’s consciences, and making the gospel more palatable to human flesh.
And this is partly why they are lukewarm, because they are being taught that they can be Christians, be saved from their sins, and have eternal life with God in heaven secured, while obedience is either downplayed as not necessary, not required, or it is even rebuked as “works-based salvation.”
Living to gratify the desires of the flesh is rarely spoken against, and in many cases, it is even encouraged by this diluted half-truth gospel which serves the flesh, and which discourages saying anything that might offend anyone. Their remedy often to soothe the conscience when they are engaging in sinful practices is for them just to claim who they are in Christ.
For, they have this false notion that a mere verbal profession of faith in Jesus Christ or a mere verbal confession of him as Lord is enough to secure them heaven while they continue doing what they want to do, entertaining themselves, and living not much different than the people of the world.
But this is not what the Scriptures teach. Jesus taught that if we want to come after him, we must deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. For, he said, if we hold on to (save) our old lives, we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our old lives (put them to death with Christ), we will gain eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26).
So, just know that if we deny our Lord by our lifestyles, he will deny us:
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 10:32-33; cf. 2 Tim 2:10-13; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Jn 15:1-12; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
Revelation 3:17-19 ESV
“’For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 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.’”
I see this more on a spiritual level rather than on a physical level, though physical riches can possibly be a hindrance to having genuine walks of faith in Jesus Christ. But I see this more as people feeling secure that they have all they need spiritually if they profess faith in Jesus Christ.
For example, the modern gospel that most people are teaching, it would appear, requires nothing but some obscure (unexplained) faith in Jesus Christ which then tells the believer they are now saved from their sins and heaven is guaranteed them as their eternal destiny.
Obedience to Christ, submission to him as Lord, and turning away from our sinful lifestyles (repentance) is not required for salvation by them, nor for eternal life with God, or else it is suggested or recommended, but again, not required, or it is even discouraged and vilified.
And so, the “believer” in Jesus has this idea that his profession of faith is all that is necessary, and so he doesn’t pursue anything more other than to possibly involve himself in a local body of fellowship which is usually in an institutional church (of men) setting which often follows social norms.
So, what the Lord Jesus is saying to them is that they have it all wrong. They don’t realize that, in God’s eyes, they are wretched and blind spiritually, because they are still living to please the flesh rather than to please God, and they are still their own god, rather than God being their God. For, their lives are not surrendered to Christ.
So, he is calling them to surrender their lives to him, to leave their sinful lives behind them, and to follow him in obedience (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; Rom 12:1-2).
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.’”
Jesus Christ is on the outside of this church, not on the inside, which could mean several things. One is that they are not the true church, but they are a false church created in the minds of those who are following a false Jesus and a false gospel which leaves its adherents still bound in their sin.
Another possibility is that they began as the true church, they were at one time following Jesus, but over time, as they began to listen to and to receive the lies and to follow the lies over the truth, they pushed the Holy Spirit right out of the gatherings of the church, so Jesus is asking to be let back inside.
I happen to believe they are a combination of both, for the true church got deceived and began following lies and then they incorporated the church under the state, and then turned the church into a marketplace to be marketed to the world, and so they made many compromises with the world.
Thus, the gatherings of “the church” are now mostly a mixture of backslidden and worldly Christians, of those who profess the name of Jesus with their lips only, and of those who make no profession of faith in Christ at all but who enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the modern market-driven church and its family friendly entertainment and activities.
Because Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit have been kicked out of these “churches” in favor of the marketing schemes and watered-down gospel of men (humans), he is indeed standing at the door knocking and asking to be let back inside to have genuine biblical fellowship with his body, the church.
But the only way to let him back in is by way of the cross of Christ and dying with him to sin daily, and surrendering to him as Lord (owner-master), and by walking in obedience to his commands, doing what he says, being doers of the word and not hearers only.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Jas 1:22]
More Than Words
BETTENCOURT, NUNO / CHERONE, GARY F.
Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It’s not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel…
Hold me close don’t ever let me go
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
Cos I’d already know