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The Proud Church (The Lukewarm Church) (Revelation 3:14-22)

Sermon on 1 November 2020 by Ps Justin


Introduction

This is the seventh and last instalment of the church series involving the seven letters to seven churches.

Remember the two indispensable qualities we need to have in order to receive the revelation of God – fear of the Lord (Psalm 25:14), and humility (Psalm 25:9). Also remember that when we read the book of Revelation, this book is about the revelation of Jesus Christ, it is given to His servants, and it is given for us to obey.

Message

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold not hot. > I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked – I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothes, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.’ As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also 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

1. Jesus wants our heart to be on fire (hot) for him, with fervent love for Him and the other believers

What is a lukewarm Christian? A Christian who has no interest in victory over sin. The Laodiceans were lukewarm because they were half-hearted. They trusted their own success and wealth, instead of trusting in the Lord. The Lord would rather they be unbelievers (cold). The church in Laodicean caused more harm in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, going out into the world with their arrogant spirit.

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the perverse mouth, do I hate. – Proverbs 8:13

The Lord wants us to be fervent and to have love for one another. If we do not hold on to holiness, we will be food that does not belong to the Lord. If we are lukewarm, our Lord will vomit us out of His mouth (verse 16). Conversely, if we are hot, we will be part of His body.

It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. – 2 Peter 2:21

2. Jesus wants us to be careful with our spiritual life

The messengers of the church of Laodicea said that they had need of nothing – they did not need Jesus Christ. Spiritual blindness means not even knowing that your heart is not right. The church of Laodicea was distracted by their earthly wealth. Do not think yourself better than others. Be humble. If we hold a high opinion of ourselves, we are wretched (Revelation 3:17).

Matthew 5:3 tells us to be poor in spirit. Matthew 5:5 tells us that the meek will inherit the earth. This is true wealth.

3. Jesus wants us to know that true value lies not in material possessions but in a right relationship with God

The church of Laodicea created wealth from garments, banking and medicine. In Revelation 3:18, Jesus says to buy from Him gold refined in the fire. This symbolises divine purity that we need. Jesus also said to buy from Him white garment – righteousness, and eye salve – to see the worthlessness of earthly possessions.

Salvation is free but this is not. What is the price? Carry your own cross daily and surrender yourself to the Lord.

4. Jesus will rebuke and discipline only those whom he loves

God disciplines His children because He loves us (verse 19).

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. – Hebrews 12:10

Turn away from sin and wrongdoing, and turn towards God. Do works that meet for repentance.

But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. – Acts 26:20

Our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to come clean with Him.

5. Jesus wants to enter into His own church

Remember that church does not refer to a building. It is the assembly of God’s people. For the past 2000 years, Jesus has been locked outside. Revelation 3:20 tells us that He wants us to open the door and He wants to come in and dine with us. He wants fellowship with us.

Be humble and have a contrite heart. Naturally, your heart will open up, and Jesus can enter into your heart.

Closing

Revelation 3:21 mentions the word “overcome”. Jesus has overcome sin for us. Let us be overcomers.

Revelation 3:22 is a message to churches all over the world. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says.

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