LAODICEA CHURCH : Sign of The Times
LAODICEA CHURCH: SIGN OF THE TIMES
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea
These are the Words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the rule of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other,.! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot not cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth, you say, ‘I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched , pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich, and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness and salve to put in your eyes, so you can see.
In the Book of Revelation Chapters two and three, we read seven Epistles addressed to the seven churches in Asia. These Epistles are prophetic in scope. They contain a panorama of church history..
The first of these Epistles is addressed to the church in Ephesus and is recorded in Revelation 2:1-7. In it we have witnessed the root cause of the decline of the church which began in the Apostolic Age. This age marks the beginning of the downward path of the church. You have forsaken your First Love. (v.4) The cooling of the church’s devotion for Christ was the source of evil that followed.
The second Epistle was addressed to the church in Smyrna and was recorded in Revelation 2:8-11. This passage reveals a prophetic picture which describes the conditions that prevailed from John’s time till the beginning of the fourth century A.D. This is a period of persecution and martyrdom.
The third Epistle was addressed to the church in Pergamum, and recorded in Revelation 2:12-17. The prophetic application of this Epistle carries us to the days of Constantine when the church married the world. During this period of church history, false practices had become part of the articles of the faith.
The fourth Epistle was addressed to the church in Thyativa and recorded in Revelation 2:18-24. This period is marked by further ecclesiastical corruption and are carried forward to the rise of Roman Catholicism.
The fifth Epistle was addressed to the church in Sardis recorded in Revelation 3:1-6. This period we are brought down to the days of Martin Luther and his contemporaries, when many of God’s people were delivered from Popery.
The sixth Epistle was addressed to the church in Philadelphia and recorded in Revelation 3:7-13. This period in church history is marked by a great revivals and missionary endeavours. The Lord sets before this church an “open door”, a door which the Lord had opened. This was the “door” that led to the Foreign Mission fields and it was not until last centuries that age-long barriers were so wonderfully removed by God and world-wide evangelism was made practically easy.
The great revivals of the 18th and 19th centuries set Christians ablaze to reach the entire world with the Gospel.
The seventh Epistle was addressed to the church in Laodicea and was recorded in Revelation 3:14-19. This is the last period of church history prior to the advent of the Tribulation Period.
In the last days, prior to the “Rapture of the true church, the glorious Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ, the church that will exist predominantly is the Laodicea church or the Lukewarm or let me say the dominant church in the end times is the Laodicea church.
The people in church of Laodicea are not true Christians. These people have false assurance of salvation or false security. They thought that they were saved but the truth they have not been delivered form their sinfulness or the power of sin.
In Revelation 3:17, it is written: ‘you say, I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing? These people thought they have acquired eternal life without seeing their need to repent from their utter depravity. Jesus said of them, you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
We are in the last days, wherein the prevalent church is the church of Laodicea We are living in the days of lukewarm Christianity wherein professing Christians have a form of godliness but denying its power. This characterized the people in the last days as it is written in 2 Timothy 3:5;
The people in the last days will be marked by people with religion but no actual born-again experience. They are living very religious lives but they have no power over sin.
Christianity in the last days will be marked by hypocrisy, worldliness, self centeredness and shallowness.A Christianity known as easy-believism.
Why there is a prevalence of shallow Christianity and easy believism in the last days?
Conversion without powerful conviction of sin.
A person joining a church without experiencing powerful conviction of his sinfulness and depravity will not experience born-again experience. In order to experience the power of the cross, one must see himself as a lost , wretched sinner before God, he must be completely convicted of the harror of sins in his life. Responding to an altar call, or signing a decision slip without being convicted of sinfulness will not lead to genuine Christianity.
It is so sad in out time, many churches are no longer preaching sin and repentance. The rise of seeker-sensitive approach in reaching out for the lost has weakened the power of the church to bring genuine converts to Christ. A church must not compromise with the worldly ways to bring converts. Sins in unbelievers lives must be confronted boldly in order for them to receive genuine salvation.
Christianity without following Christ terms of Discipleship
William MacDonald in his book:
True Discipleship has written the following:
True Christianity is an all-out commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus made strongest demands on those who would be His disciples – demands that are all overlooked in their days of luxury living. Too often we look upon Christianity as an escape from hell and a guarantee of heaven. Beyond that, we feel that we have every right to enjoy the best that this life has to offer. We know that there are those strong verses on discipleship in the Bible, as it is written in Matthew 16:24-25.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loss his life for me will find it.’
The rise of the false prosperity gospel has produced worldly, wealth-loving, pleasure-seeking church members, who are attracted to the promises of wealth and luxury of false prosperity gospel preachers so prevalent in our time. These phony preachers peddle the Word of God producing people with religion but without power over sin. They do not preach Christ terms of discipleship, they blend Christianity with the world, producing superficial Christianity.
There is a way out of the Laodicea.
We are living in the endtimes. Very soon the “rapture” will take place. The Laodicea church will not be raptured but will go through the Tribulation Period. While the Great Rapture is not yet taking place. There is still hope to get out of the LaodiceaChurch.
Before I was genuinely born-again in December, 19991, I was a lukewarm professing Christian, a Laodicean for seven years. I was active in the church. I was in the church vesper choir and I was even in the evangelism ministry of the church. But I was canal and living in sin. I harbor hatred, bitterness, selfish ambitions and lusts.
The break through in my spiritual life happened in December of 1991. A lady evangelist from a certain church invited me to have a nightly Bible study with her. During those times, I was so down and feeling empty that I gave in to her invitation. After a night or two of studying the Word with her, I could feel that my heart was being warmed every time the Word of God was read. When we arrived at studying Galatians 5:19-21, the Word of God became a very powerful;sword that pierced the darkness of my heart. As it is written in Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious; sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you as I told you before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” With my sexual fantasies, obsession with a man, bitterness, hatred, jealousy of rage, selfish ambitions, envying, how can I inherit the kingdom of God? For the past seven years of professing christianity, my life had been marked by these sins. Had I became a genuine born-again Christian? It is written in I John 1:6- “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.”
I was attending a Bible-based Christian church. I have had Christian ministries. I do even had a regular prayer time and I quiet time with God’s Word. But I had no power over SIN. This marks the life of a Laodicean.
After seeing the darkness of my soul, and being powerfully convicted of my sinfulness, I had been broken and cried out to the Holy God, “Lord, I had been a terrible sinner, forgive me.”
After confessing my sins and asking God’s forgiveness, tears fell down from my eyes uncontrollably, then a very deep peace embraced me. I repented of my sins and rededicated my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. I experienced the mighty infilling of the Holy Spirit which is evidenced by an unspeakable joy that I cannot describe. I gained victory over all my sins. Sin had lost its hold on me.My sinful nature had been deposed. I have been freed and delivered. As it is written in John 8:36;
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
True salvation is coupled with freedom and deliverance from the power of sin. Sin has no hold on a true born-again Christian. Yes, there is a way out of the Laodicea church, brokenness over sin and true repentance.
He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you will try to enter and will not be able to.”
The Redeemer’s Return
By: Arthur Pink
By: William Mac Donald
The Holy Bible
New International Version