Seven Churches - Laodicea
The seventh and last study about the seven churches of Revelation is concerning the letter to the church at Laodicea.
To the Church in Laodicea - Revelation 3:14-22 .....'And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.'
The Laodicean period of the church is where we are today. The name Laodicea means "judging the people" which matches the Seventh Day Adventist teaching, since 1844, that we are in the time of judgment now, with Christ cleansing the heavenly sanctuary.
These words are from the "Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." The Amen signifying that this is the final church age which takes us right to the second coming of Christ Jesus. Christ is the Creator and in being the "faithful and true witness", He is the perfect representation of the character of God, which we should all be looking to attain.
You will see that this church receives no commendations, only rebuke.
Jesus says that this church is neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm and she thinks that she is rich and in need of nothing. These "riches" are not earthly riches, but spiritual riches. In other words, this church has been blessed with great light concerning the Word of God. And what has she done? Has the church moved ever forward, LIVING the great truths that God has given her, and sharing them with the world? No!! This church has kept these truths to herself, looking down upon the fallen churches from her "lofty" position, thinking that she will be saved by merely "knowing" the truth.
This church is worse than cold, being lukewarm, and in this position she is very offensive to God. Not because the members have done worse things than anyone else. But because of the great light that God has given them, the great Bible truths for our time, which should have caused them to be zealous unto good works, living and sharing these precious truths with the rest of the world. Someone who is hot is obviously zealous, actually living the faith that they proclaim. Someone who is cold could denote someone who lacks faith and feels unworthy to be called a follower of Christ. They know they are weak and want to have faith, which is why Christ said that He would rather this church to be cold than lukewarm. And the reason being lukewarm is so bad, is because the members are CONTENT with their position and what they are doing. They don't feel the need to advance anymore, being satisfied with SELF. They sit back, thinking that their "knowledge" will save them. This is so nauseating to Christ that He will vomit anyone like this out of His mouth, and they will surely be forever lost!
This church believes that she has everything, but doesn't realize that she is "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." And it would be right to label these people as "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." (2 Timothy 3:5).
"Therefore, says the True Witness, "I council thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich." That is, love and faith working together, hand in hand to make them rich in good works, and rich toward God. They are counseled to buy white raiment; that is, to put on a robe of righteousness, or to have their characters conform wholly to the law of God. They are counseled also, to anoint their eyes with eyesalve that they may see. This eyesalve is the unction from on high, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which gives us the true discernment in spiritual things. And God's people, during this time, will be rebuked and chastened by Him until they become zealous and repent." (Uriah Smith Biblical Institute, p 250-252)
Now this message to Laodicea is not a message of hopelessness, as you will see that Christ is rebuking this church for their lukewarm condition and He confirms that He loves those who He rebukes and is standing at the door waiting for them to let Him in. He is pleading with them to repent of this condition, so that they may obtain His grace and be clothed in His righteousness. So although this church is in a dire state, as long as the people HEED the warning and rebuke, then the lukewarmness can be corrected. But if this warning isn't heeded and action isn't taken to correct this awful state, then Christ will "spue" them out of His mouth and they will be thrown into the lake of fire, and forever lost.
"You that hope for salvation, flee quickly, flee, I say, for your lives! You have not one moment to spare. Utter destruction awaits every soul that is found in this Laodicean state." (Review and Herald, vol 1, November, 1850, #1 "The Laodicean Church", p 8)
Friend, if you are in the Laodicean state right now. If you are still living for this world and not moving forward in your faith, in obedience to Christ Jesus. If you believe that you "know" enough to not need to study anymore. If you think that your mere "knowledge" of the truth will save you, then I URGE you to FLEE this condition, as it will cause you to be rejected by your Saviour. Please heed the call, as time is running out!
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne."