The Book of Revelation (Part 10): The Seven Churches (Part 5)
February 12, 2020
The Book of Revelation (part 10):
The Seven Churches (part 5)
We are going through the book of Revelation verse by verse on Wednesday nights. Our world is changing. Jesus’ return is soon! I want you to be informed as to what the scriptures have to say about His second coming and what we should be doing to prepare for that day!
The word revelation means an unveiling. In this book, God shows John what will happen just before the return of Christ.
We studied chapter 1, and now we are finishing Jesus’ message to the 7 churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3.
John had been exiled to the penal colony of Patmos in the Aegean Sea by the Roman Emperor Domitian because of his Christian faith.
Jesus appeared to him there and revealed to John what was happening in seven churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and revealed to him what would happen in His second coming.
These seven letters were directly from Jesus to the seven churches. This in itself is amazing, as this is the only time in the Bible that Jesus spoke directly to churches and had His words printed for the rest of the church age.
We have covered:
1. The Ephesus Church – Come back to your 1st love! Keep your heart close to Jesus.
2. The church in Smyrna – Persecution is normal for the Christian; don’t allow persecution to cause compromise in your life.
3. The church in Pergamum – Don’t compromise your convictions when the pressure of persecution comes your way. When cultural convictions change, we don’t!
4. The church in Thyatira – the Corrupt Church. They changed their doctrine due to the cultural pressures of the day.
5. The church in Sardis was the dead church. They replaced relationship with works.
6. The Philadelphia Church – The faithful church.
Tonight: The Laodicea Church: The Lukewarm Church
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:(15) “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. (16) So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (17) 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 — (18) I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. (19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (20) 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. (21) 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.” (22) He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Laodicea was located on some major roads, and grew into a major center of 1business and finance. It had theaters, stadiums, public baths (which were popular in the day) and great shopping centers.
Hot water springs were 6 miles or so from Laodicea, and by the time the water reached Laodicea, it was lukewarm.
Laodicea was also popular for its wool (dyed black with a special dye) from which cloth and carpet were made. It was also popular for manufacturing a medicinal powder for the eyes.
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:
The Amen – The truth! He is the sovereign behind all human events.
He is over all of creation, and carried out all of God’s creative plans. He oversees all things.
(15) “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. (16) So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
People in the 1st century either drank hot or cold beverages at their feasts and religious ceremonies, never lukewarm.
Again, this rebuke struck home, since the hot water 6 miles away became lukewarm by the time it travelled down the aqueduct and reached Laodicea.
They were in great danger. At least a spiritually “cold” person knows they are unsaved. And of course Jesus wants all of us to be burning with passion.
(17) 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 — (18) I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Here Jesus addresses all the nice natural things this church had going for it.
Gold – wealth – needs to be refined in fire.
White garments – the garments they were known for were dyed black – white stands for righteousness.
They had lots of clothes – but Jesus said they were naked.
They manufactured a special eye salve – but they still could not see.
(19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (20) 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. (21) 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.
(22) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Proverbs 3:11-12 – NKJV
My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction;
12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Hebrews 12:5-11 – NLT
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. (6) For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” (7) As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? (8) If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. (9) Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? (10) For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. (11) No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Hebrews 12:5-11 (Passion Translation)
And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. (6) For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.” (7) Fully embrace God’s correction as part of your training, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. For who has ever heard of a child who never had to be corrected? (8) We all should welcome God’s discipline as the validation of authentic sonship. For if we have never once endured his correction it only proves we are strangers and not sons. (9) And isn’t it true that we respect our earthly fathers even though they corrected and disciplined us? Then we should demonstrate an even greater respect for God, our spiritual Father, as we submit to his life-giving discipline. (10) Our parents corrected us for the short time of our childhood as it seemed good to them. But God corrects us throughout our lives for our own good, giving us an invitation to share his holiness. (11) Now all discipline seems to be more pain than pleasure at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it.
The way back into the Father’s presence and Jesus’ good graces is repentance!
The problem with being lukewarm is complacency.
Complacency – 3 Words
1) Complacency- Quiet satisfaction, contentment, the quality or state of being satisfied: a calm sense of wellbeing and security; self satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies
2) Complacent – Marked by satisfaction and pleasure at one’s own personality, accomplishments, or situation; satisfaction about the security of one’s own position; careless acceptance of events around one; disinclined to act, to change, or to guard.
3) Commonplace – Anything common or ordinary; neither new nor interesting; obvious or trite.
Complacency is Satan’s playground!
Symptoms of Complacency – (lukewarmness)
1. Lack of spiritual hunger
2. Little concern for the unsaved
3. Lack of intimate fellowship with believers
5. Slack attendance and involvement in a local church
6. Legitimate activities consume time needed for spiritual nourishment
8. Little spiritual growth in the last 6 months
9. A general feeling of self-satisfaction
10. Nonchalant and tolerant attitude toward personal sin
8 characteristics of a person who is passionate for God:
1. You can’t wait to have some time to read the word.
2. You long for a place to pray alone during the day.
3. Worship is a passion.
4. Church services are crucial to your walk with God.
5. You long to fellowship with other believers.
6. You easily witness to others about Jesus and what He is to you.
7. You don’t want to do anything that would compromise Jesus’ place in your life, or compromise your closeness to Him.
8. Nothing is more important to you than spending time with the Lord in the Word, praying, reading, or just waiting quietly in His presence.
Let’s keep ourselves stirred up!