The Church in Laodicea: 3 Important Truths for the Church

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We must understand that the churches mentioned in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, including the church in Laodicea, are literal churches that existed in Asia Minor. When reading chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, you will notice that the Lord has a special message for each church in Asia Minor. He could have addressed them as a group of churches, but instead, He addressed them as an individual church. It is because God deals with each church differently for the main reason that each church is unique.

As we look at the church of the Laodiceans, we will see how God deals with the church of “People’s Rights.” Since Laodicea means “people’s rights.”

The Lord disapproves of the church in Laodicea.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:16

Because the church in Laodicea is lukewarm, the Lord says He will spew them out of His mouth. Not literally, of course, but metaphorically it means He disapproves of them.

Their spiritual arrogance.

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:

Revelation 3:17

The church in Laodicea thought of itself as rich and needing nothing from Christ. However, many of the members may have been materially rich. What is in view here is the church in Laodicea’s spiritual pride. The church has put its trust in its material possessions more than in God.

They think that they can do it without God. They have a “need of nothing attitude.” God forbid that we will come to the point that, in our churches, we will depend upon ourselves more than we depend upon God. When we have things to improve in our churches or projects to accomplish, we always look for God’s guidance and ask for the leading of the Holy Spirit. Because we cannot have enough of the presence of God, we are desperate for God.

Their spiritual ignorance.

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:

Revelation 3:17

Spiritual arrogance will eventually lead to spiritual ignorance. Because the church in Laodicea thought they needed nothing, they had little idea of their spiritual condition. In the sight of men, they were wealthy, self-sufficient, and had nothing to improve. But in the presence of God, they were spiritually sick, miserable, poor in faith, blind in their current situation, and an embarrassment to God.

When does a church start to develop spiritual ignorance? It begins when we have an attitude of spiritual arrogance. When we think that we’re better than others, we feel like we have it made when we believe that there’s nothing else to improve, when we need nothing attitude when we think we can do it without God.

The Lord loves the church in Laodicea.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Revelation 3:19

No matter how much God disapproves of a church, the fact remains that the Lord Jesus Christ loves the church. He loved the church and sacrificed Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25.) The Apostle Paul introduced the Corinthian church, which many consider a carnal, corrupt, and compromising church, “the church of God at Corinth.”

The Lord’s rebuke.

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.

Revelation 3:18

The Lord does not rebuke the church in Laodicea out of hatred towards them. He rebukes them with love which is evident because of the counsel that He gives them. Often we rebuke others simply because we do not like them. However, the Bible teaches us that we should rebuke with love when we rebuke.

The Lord counsels the church in Laodicea that spiritual riches are more important than material riches. He also advises them to live holy lives and not to be an embarrassment to others. And to examine their lives and the reality of their spiritual condition.

Indeed, as a church, we need this counsel from the Lord. We must improve our spiritual maturity, rededicate ourselves to living a holy life and evaluate and examine our spiritual condition.

The Lord’s chastening.

The Lord expresses his love towards the church in Laodicea through His chastening. The Lord Jesus Christ already assures us that He rebukes and chastens those He loves (Hebrews 12:5-11.)

The Lord will judge the church in Laodicea.

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.

Revelation 3:20

We believe that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who established the church. We believe that He purchased us with His blood. But why does he have to ask permission from the church in Laodicea to enter His church?

The cold truth is that they have kept Him out of the church and have excluded Him entirely. Still, the Lord Jesus Christ pursues the church out of love. However, He is also just, and from the passage’s context, He must judge the Laodicean church.

The Lord’s mercy.

It is impossible to preach of God’s judgment without mentioning the mercy of God, as it is impossible to preach about hell without mentioning the cross. The Lord has often judged His people Israel, and in those times before He sends judgment, He always sends a message of hope.

It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”

Lamentations 3:22

The Lord’s judgment.

The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Revelation 1:20

God can do as he pleases to a church. He can put the lights out if He wants to. One of the purposes of the church is to be a beacon in this dark world. However, many churches have gone astray from their purpose, so God has put their lights out.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 3:22

Realize that even though preaching the Word of God is through the appointed preacher, it is still the Spirit of God that speaks to our hearts. Revelation 3:19 is the message the Spirit of God wants us to hear.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Revelation 3:19

The Spirit of God’s message is to be zealous and repent. It admonishes the believers to bring back their zeal when they were new believers in Christ. It also pleads with the church to repent and get right with God if mistakes need correction.

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