Thursday, January 18, 2007

Jesus' bold church (part 9)

The last four posts, I have quoted from Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Of the seven churches discussed in those two chapters, five were rebuked for their actions to some extent. Tonight, the final church of the seven churches—the church in Laodicea.
‘”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 cold nor hot—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 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 as 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: 14b-22 (NIV)
Again, I am not going to analyze this passage but will point out the following: Note that in all the passages: the speaker is JESUS. HE is speaking to HIS church. HE is commending HIS church where commendation is warranted. HE is rebuking HIS church where rebuke is needed. HE is warning HIS church where warning is necessary. He is saving HIS church where saving is justified. HE is condemning portions of HIS church where condemnation is required. Note also the true statement that is ridiculed by the world in their ignorance:  HE is “the ruler of God’s creation.” GOD created everything and JESUS is the ruler of everything until HE returns it to HIS FATHER.
Unlike any of the other six churches, the church at Laodicea receives no commendation. Instead, the church receives the harshest rebuke of the seven. Why? Because the church is lukewarm. The church is neither hot nor cold. I take that as the church trying to appease the world while wanting to at least outwardly please JESUS. The church seems to want one foot in the world enjoying its pleasures and one foot with JESUS trying to also benefit from the spiritual. It just does not work in JESUS’ eyes. JESUS proclaims in Matthew 6: 24 (NIV) “’No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.’” The church at Laodicea seems to be attempting to do just that. JESUS strongly rebukes the church because of that lukewarm alliance that can not continually exist. “No one can serve two masters.”
The church, as with the others who are rebuked, is warned to REPENT. All five churches who are not boldly serving JESUS and teaching the TRUTH are warned to REPENT. If not, the church will be spit from JESUS’ mouth. The church is given the opportunity through REPENTANCE and OBEDIENCE to cover their sins. The church is admonished to see with its eyes and hear with its ears.
THE TRUTH is readily available to all who are willing to see and hear, REPENT and OBEY. The reward is eternity with JESUS!  



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