- Religion and Philosophy
Laodicea Church: Rich Yet Poor Church
Laodicea Church : Rich Yet Poor Church
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write :
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness , the ruler of God’s creation . I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot, I wish you were either one or the other. So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor 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 can become rich; and white clothes to wear so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes , so you can see.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am ! I stand at the door and knock . If anyone hears my voice and opens the door , I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear , let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Revelation 3 :14 – 22
Laodicea has been the subject of recent archeological excavation in Turkey. Recent archeological findings confirm what are written in the Book of Revelation about the Laodicea church., that they are a large and wealthy church.
The Voice That Speaks
An important theme in the series of letters to the churches is about the necessity of hearing the voice of Christ. The all-important voice of JesusChrist is highlighted in this letter to the church of Laodicea. He is the Last Word – the “Amen”. He is the one that will give fulfillment and judgement. He is the First Word – the ruler of God’s creation.
Through Him, creation began. In between, He sustain all creation by His powerful Word.
He is the voice of the Faithful and True Witness . Inspite of the churches’ failures and unfaithfulness He will remain True and Faithful. Amidst the many voices in the world today, His voice is the one that counts.
Laodicea’s Values and Vision
Christ speaks about Laodicea’s values and vision. Laodicea church in fact is the church of the last days. William MacDonald has these comments about the present modern day church: Many are living in luxuries when many are dying without Christ. We give the best of ourselves to the business world then turn over the remnants of a wasted career to the Saviour. We cater to our bodies which in few years will return to dust. We accumulate instead of forsake. Christians are wearing crowns instead of bearing crosses.
The Laodicea church hold values that were characterized by the rule of the people. It appears that they were living up to the name of the city.Laodicea means “rule of the people.” The Laodicean church depends their ministry based on the felt-need of the people.What people think they need is not always what they need. The people of Laodicea cater to their felt needs. What people feel and see can be very far away from the truth.
The spirit of materialism is ruling the church of Laodicea. Their ideals of success and dreams are associated with the material things. Materialism is devotion to material wealth and possession at the expense of spiritual values. Their sense of security comes from their possessions.
Results of Their Values
Because of materialism, the Laodiceans were deceived. Materialism is very deceitful. We tend to think it is easier to make our lives revolve around people and things. Because of these values, the Laodicean church became lukewarm church. They became non-comittal to the things of God. They became half-hearted towards the things of God. It describes vividly, the respectable, sentimental, nominal, skin-deep religiosity which is widespread among us today. According to John Stott’s comment about modern Christianity: “Our Christianity is flabby and anemic. We have a lukewarm bath of religion.”
The Voice at the Door
It seems the Lord is saying : “ Why based your happiness on material things?”
The Lord loves the the lukewarm Laodicean church. He is calling them to repentance. Repentance is a lifework. True repentance is an abiding principle. We are to live daily to exercise repentance.
Revelation 3:20 , For whom it is ?
This call is for anyone who is willing to listen to what the Lord has to say to him personally, willing to hear His voice through His Word. What is involved here?
It is about recognizing His presence. It also involves hearing His voice. It stresses the importance of His Word in our life. It also involves desiring Him and enthroning Him as the Lord of our lives.
Revelation 3:20 could be a concluding invitation for this series of letters. It reveals as we find in these letters that we are a people with a persistent tendency to shut the Lord out of our lives, out of the different aspects of living, the ministry and the church.
Promise to the Overcomers
Christ promises to anyone who overcomes will be given right to sit with Christ on His throne.
The rightful place of JesusChrist in our lives, in the ministry and in the church is worth fighting for and worth struggling for.
This hub is an excerpt from the message preached by Brother Benjie Baclagon last March 6, 2011 at the Vesper Worship Service of Grace Bible Church- Manila, Philippines.