“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 nor 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 you 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 clothed, 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
The last of Jesus’ letters to the Churches makes it clear; He is the last word on God’s creation. He not only began the ‘Church age’, but He alone will finish it and He is the true witness. In other words, if you want to understand how the Church is to function, look at the way it began. The Church of Laodocia didn’t listen and today it is just a ruin. Such will be the fate of all churches who do not listen to the true Head of the Church.
Jesus started it, and He hasn’t changed. All the so-called ‘hi-liturgical’ forms, church growth programs, seeker friendly schemes, and new ‘revelations’ that are permeating the Church today are just man’s attempt at running a supernatural organism in a natural organized way. The Church began with a supernatural infusion of the Holy Spirit and that is the only way it can work according to the divine plan. Running the Church without the fullness of the Holy Spirit is like trying to run a modern combustion engine on sugar rather than oil. It soon becomes sluggish and begins to stink!
What happens in much of the church-world today is like the tower of Babel. Man is trying to build a name for himself; his own way into the heavens. Men think the bigger it is, the better. But God is not interested in big men at the head of big organizations. He is interested in His body, over which He alone is the head! You can tell a lot about what is important to men by the size of the buildings they erect. We have big bank buildings, big shopping malls, and big church buildings. But, there is no record of Jesus ever erecting a big building for His Church. Instead, He declared, “My kingdom is not of this world.” It is not marked by pomp and wealth. The Laodocians had fallen into this trap. They thought their wealth and worldly riches proved their spiritual success. In fact, it proved the opposite! As Jesus saw them, they were poor, blind, and naked. A central message in this letter to the Laodocians is –
Success according man’s standards is not the measure of success in the kingdom of God, redemption is.
As the prophet Isaiah wrote –
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.” – Isaiah 61:10
There are many in today’s churches that are not in the Church of Jesus Christ. You don’t get into His Church via membership classes, or giving of tithes, but only by having the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness, which come from God Himself. Only the Holy Spirit can baptize us into the body of Christ –
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:13
and that only follows true repentance, for Jesus taught, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17).
John the Baptist warned that true repentance would bring forth fruit worthy of repentance. True repentance produces a changed life. In today’s church, there is little repentance, little deliverance, little healing, and even less manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This is Laodocia. The people are as miserable as the world. They are looking for hope and peace, but few find it. The reason is simple. We can’t solve our problems with psychology, humanistic platitudes or Christian rituals devoid of spiritual power. Paul warned these days would come –
“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness by denying its power. And from such people turn away!” – 2 Timothy 3:2-5
While we may think, “I’m not that bad!” If we can be found anywhere on this list, we are on the downward slippery slope that Laodocia was on. Jesus’ answer is ‘to be zealous and repent.’
Because He loves us, Jesus warns us to buy from Him gold refined in the fire. The only way to get this gold is to take up our cross and follow Jesus. It doesn’t come cheaply! The only way to get white garments is to embrace righteousness by willfully choosing to live according to Christ’s standards rather than the world’s standards. This is what it means to “take up your cross and follow Me” (Mark 8:34). We need our eyes anointed with the healing eye salve that only Jesus gives. Our eye must be ‘single’ – no double-mindedness! Like David of old, we must “set no wicked thing before our eyes!” (That means at least 90% of TV and Hollywood must go). That alone will send most modern Christians into cardiac arrest! But to have ‘single eyes’ we must be committed to all Jesus and the Apostles taught.
The great news is however, that if we take this advice of Jesus, He will come into our lives with revitalizing life! He will bring a new level of intimacy to us that will lift us into the heavens to be seated with God Himself. It was 54 years ago, in a little Wisconsin country Lutheran church, that I took this word of Jesus to heart –
“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.”
The preacher asked me to read that verse then asked, “Did anything happen?” I said “No”, so he said “Read it again!” After the third time reading it, I suddenly realized what Jesus was saying and opened my heart’s door to Him, inviting Him in. HE CAME! and my life has never been the same since then. I went from a Junior in college studying Physics, Chemistry and Math to student of the One who created Physics, Chemistry and Math! Now I am a retired educator with over 30 years of teaching but I’m still learning the mysteries of God’s creation.
It does not matter what your pathway in life might be, God loves you as well and He has plans for you. If you will invite him into your life, He will surely come in and you will begin the great adventure of discovering the mystery that is your life as the Holy Spirit will begin to unfold it before you.