“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’
And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.”
What you see with Laodicea is — when we forget where we’ve come from, when we forget our relationship with Jesus first, then we substitute something, anything in it’s place.
See what had happened here, They viewed themselves one way, but Jesus saw them differently. Sometimes we substitute our relationship with Jesus- with something else, anything else; Here they’d substituted prestige, power and wealth for a relationship with God.
When you’re going for prestige, power and wealth, you want to put forward this image, right?
- the black power suit
- the power handshake
- the successful ceo
Religion without relationship= indifference
When we forget where we’ve come from then friendships are reduced to business hierarchy and success is reduced to measurable results. When THE CHURCH forgets where she came from then the CHURCH is reduced to religion and not a relationship with Christ. Religion without relationship is an ugly thing indeed…
Take the relationship out of it and reduce it to a corporate model, a country club, or anything else that the church really is not, and all you are left with is indifference. Look at verse 19
“I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. “
Relationship = Friendship with God
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
- not some image you want to project
- not a power trip or authority trip
- not a self dillusion
…A relationship with him, nothing else will do…
Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
Laodicea had forgotten what real power looks like, it looks like Jesus who’d come in humility, taking on the form of a servant. We, individually and as the church must emulate him. They’d forgotten Thanksgiving, the doxology says “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”. We individually, and as the church are to be a doxology of thanksgiving before God. They’d forgotten where they’d come from, the state of every man: poor, wretched, naked, & blind. They’d forgotten the significance of Christ’s first advent, and also had lost sight of his second coming.
The message of the church today is the message that John the Baptist preached long ago “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight a path for him! Every valley will be built up and every mountain will be brought low… and all people will see the salvation of God…”
To the wretched he gives hope!
To the the poor he sustains!
To the naked he clothes!
To the blind he heals and gives sight!