THE LAODICEA LETTER
A whirlwind week...I’m not sure how we covered so much ground, but we raced ahead of gathering storms. Here we are at the end of our ‘mini-tour’ and visit to seven ancient church sites in Asia Minor. Our primary quest and purpose was to unravel mysteries and meanings found in 7 letters written to the 7 churches of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. Along the way we ran into some challenging spiritual issues facing the Early Church. The 7 letters revealed to John of Patmos in a vision also introduced us to Jesus in a remarkable way. We hear vivid descriptions and some new names for Jesus: Ruler of All that is, was and ever more shall be; The Holder of the keys of Hell and Death; …One who is the First and Last,and whose eyes penetrated like flames of fire; …One who is Holy and True and has the Keys of David; The Faithful and True Witness; the One Who Stands Firm… We also learn Jesus has a deep concern for His church which stirs our hearts like the Apostle Paul to press on…”… towards the high calling in Christ Jesus…”
And now…we stand at the gates of the city of Laodicea and at the doors of the Laodicea Church (Revelation 3: 14-22) and hear Jesus’ warning cry: I KNOW YOU WELL. YOU ARE NEITHER HOT NOR COLD! HOW I WISH YOU WERE ONE OR THE OTHER, BUT SINCE YOU ARE MERELY LUKEWARM…I WILL SPEW YOU OUT…
How could things have come to this? To our dismay, we learn that the well-heeled and self-satisfied believers of the Laodicean Church seem to be kicking up their heels more than serving or loving God! This church has all the appearances of being a great place to be…if you want to join ‘a club’ (?!). But wait, does this mean this church actually believes it doesn’t really ‘need’ God because it has ‘everything’ …without Him? What’s going on? This church’s smugness and apathy is perhaps explained by the fact that the Laodicean Church in its day was surrounded by great affluence. They had it all, money and achievements, yet Jesus looks beyond appearances and delivers this church a grave report card: “…you aren’t what you think. You’re poor, blind and naked…Take my advice…and spiritual direction…” Jesus tells the Laodicean Church that He is ‘standing at the door…and knocking…’ (this may remind us of a story Jesus told during His earthly ministry about the Kingdom of heaven being like people invited to a wedding feast…but some ended up not prepared to meet the Bridegroom at the door…) (Matthew 25: 1-13).
Read through Revelation 3: 14-22 once again. The Laodicea Church isn’t listening or looking for advice. They exude a tacit indifference to God. Do you see any parallels to this church and attitudes in the church today? Do you believe church is just a place to hang out and feel or look good? What is Jesus looking for in a church and in the lives of those who truly believe in His Word and desire to follow Him?
Collect your final #7 of 7 clues here and receive more of your amazing inheritance from God.
Thank you for being part of the Seven Churches Mystery exploration of 7 amazing Bible letters to 7 churches. I trust this study inspired you to journey on further in faith, to continue to explore God’s Word, and to keep trusting in Jesus.
“I am with you always…even to the end of the age…” Matthew 28: 16-18
© 2011 S. Michaels