In last week’s Preacher’s Point, we examined how to make America godly again by looking at 2 Chronicles 7:14. This week, we will focus on Revelation 3:14-22.
Chapters 2-3 of Revelation contain seven letters to seven different churches. Every church, everywhere, can point at one of these seven churches and say, “There we are!”
The churches are also prophetic in nature. As we look back at church history, we can see the predominant characteristics of Christianity shift from being Ephesus to Smyrna to Pergamos, and so on, until you reach the last church, Laodicea. All seven types of churches exist at all times throughout the church age. Still, one kind of church will dominate the others, and then, over time, another type of church surfaces to the top. This does not mean a Philadelphia church could not exist during the Laodicean age. Still, it does mean that Christianity overall will be Laodicean.
The Laodicean church age is the last of the seven churches and started around the beginning of the twentieth century. It is the church of the Laodiceans that will be the prominent church when the rapture happens. The problem here is this – God had nothing good to say about the church of the Laodiceans. Don’t get me wrong, the other six churches are not perfect. Four of the six, God praises them for some things but also rebukes them for other things. Smyrna and Philadelphia received only praise from God, but Laodicean received only rebuke.
What is so bad about the Laodicean church? God does not list a bunch of moral sins. He does not call them hypocrites. Yet it is so bad God says the church makes him vomit (Revelation 3:16). Their problem is that when it comes to God, they are apathetic. God calls it “neither cold nor hot.”
Many will say, “We’re not apathetic. We love God.”
A news junkie is going to turn on a news network as soon as they see a TV in the morning. A news junkie’s phone will “ding” all day long as their favorite news apps send them notices throughout the day informing them of the latest happenings. Conversations with a news junkie will revolve around politics, the latest in pop culture, or whatever the big story of the day is – they will talk about and share the news with anyone that will listen. News junkies have a passion for the news.
Christian, do you have a passion for God? As the news junkie needs to start his day with the morning headlines, do you need to start your day by getting a good dose of God from reading your Bible?
When was the last time you read your Bible three days in a row? How about every day for a week? How can you say you love God if you are nonchalant about discovering more about Him? How much is He in your daily decision-making process? How can a person say they are in a relationship with someone when they never seek their advice or guidance and rarely talk to them?
In the previous paragraphs, you have just read a practical life example of lukewarmness toward God.
God goes on to describe them as self-reliant and lacking faith – “increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17).
This lukewarm attitude toward God, along with their self-reliant faith in themselves, causes them to be “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” spiritually. And the church does not even know it (Revelation 3:17). At the core of this lukewarm attitude is that many Christians today use watered-down versions of the Bible. A watered-down Bible produces watered-down Christians, which make watered-down, lukewarm churches.
What scares me most about the Laodicean church is Revelation 3:20, “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.”
To understand my fear here, look at the context in which the verse is written and compare it with other Scriptures. The context is that the verse is in a letter written to a church. A church, by definition, is an assembly of believers. However, in Matthew 18:20, Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
If Jesus is in the midst of wherever Christians gather together, and He is standing outside the church pounding on the door, desiring entry, what does that tell us about those assembled inside? They are unsaved.
When a person is saved by the blood of the Lamb, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in the heart. There is a change, 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Reread the verse; we are not broken vessels God has glued back together. He threw away the old one and made us new in Him. The belief that we are broken people patched together by God and not new creatures in Him is an example of the watered-down theology mentioned earlier.
God’s children will desire to read His Word. His Word will sometimes show us our wrongs. When this happens, a true child of God repents, but many in the church today stop listening when the Bible shows them their sins.
Many church-goers hide behind the phrase “God understands.” They use the term to continue in their sin. The term to them means that God understands their life circumstances and, therefore, has no problem with the sin in their life.
The truth is that God understands everyone’s situation, but He often does not approve of our actions. It is up to us to repent of our sins. We do not have the authority or the right to water down God to fit our mold so we can continue living out a life contrary to God’s Word.
The end times are upon us, and the Laodicean church is here. By creating a god molded into our desired image, by having no zeal toward God, by turning the truth of God into a lie, or at least something irreverent, the church has become lukewarm.
Are you hot, cold, or Laodicean? Do you make God sick to His stomach?
Repentance is how we make America great again. 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preachers-point.com; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV.