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The Message to Laodicea

Revelation: Church! Hear This...  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:42
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Pull yourself together
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself
Just believe in yourself!
Remember to look out for number one
God helps those who help themselves! ( Most quoted passage of scripture that IS NOT in the bible!)
Truth is He helps those who cannot help themselves and as we will see today… That is all of us!
The god of self (Began in the Garden)
Swindoll stated it well when he says:
Insights on Revelation Laodicea: The Church that Nauseates God (Revelation 3:14–22)

While ancient pagans had hundreds of false gods to choose from, modern pagans have one false god that controls their lives: self. Self-expression, self-confidence, self-worth, self-reliance—these concepts all revolve around the myth that human beings have an inexhaustible source of strength within themselves. Such worthy people, of course, have trouble attributing all worth to God, which is the very definition of worship!

I think this is an apt statement for Americans today… especially for those of us here out west! We have an independent spirit don't we.
Christ has a message for this Self reliant independent minded church… Revelation 3:14-22
Revelation 3:14–22 NASB95
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: 15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; 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 will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down 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.’ ”
There are nine verses in this message and today I have a nine point sermon to address this message to us today...
I have summarized each verse with a statement
As we summarize this message I want us to clearly understand where Jesus Christ stands concerning a church or a believer who is in this condition.
This church has nothing commendable to be seen or pointed out by Christ, at least in Sardis there was still a small remnant left who followed Christ, but not here!

Verse 14… “The Fear of the Lord”!

In Proverbs 1:7 clearly states:
Proverbs 1:7 NASB95
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The way Christ introduces Himself to this church should strike a cord of reverent fear… one would be classified a fool to think otherwise.
Is God comfortable to you? You can say or do anything you like and what He thinks really is not all that too concerning to you?
He is the “AMEN” … True, truth indeed! There is no falsehood He is genuine!
Faithful and true witness” there was judgment coming… Christ is the witness against you… He is bringing a testimony against them that contradicts their boast!
Beginning of Creation” He is eternal, He has complete control over His creation, He is preeminent!
You and I stand before this same God! Each one of us should hold in our hearts and lives a reverent Fear of the Lord!

Verse 15… “You are NOT what I want.”

If I were to simply summarize this verse it would be… “you are NOT what I want”
Laodicea...
In 60 AD the city sustained great damage by an earthquake
The self-sufficient city unlike their neighboring cities refused imperial help and assistance to rebuild
This was one of the wealthiest cities in the region
It was a major banking center
They had a thriving textile trade with coveted garments made with a special silky black wool
The medical profession and medicines made this city well know
Especially known for an eye salve they produced there to treat various eye ailments
This city with all its wealth however, could not fix their water situation...
Ten miles to the east Colossae had fresh cold springs that were refreshing
Six miles to the north was Hierapolis which had healing hot mineral springs
But in Laodicea had to pipe in water… when it reach the city it was a putrid warm mineral tasting water
Christ stating that He wishes they were either hot or cold is not saying good or bad, RATHER He wishes they were useful, I wish you were DOING what I want of you but you are not...
Just as a side note… we cannot please God in the flesh, we have to allow His Spirit to work through us.

Verse 16… “You make me want to vomit!”

You continue to be:
Self-reliant
Self-indulgent
Self-confident
Just like that putrid warm mineral water in the city, their actions and self worship made Christ want to vomit.
Let that picture sink in… we should be sympathetic puker in this situation!

Verse 17… “Stop trusting in yourself, it’s pathetic!”

They were rich, wealthy and without need
They had no reason to trust God they were doing fine!
Comfort and complacency are such a desirable snare for us that the Devil uses
Good budget
Growing church
Great building
Numberous ministries
They had no clue… (Now they do, and so do all the churches and believers around them)
Wretched… pathetic
Miserable… to be pittied
Christ illustrates with what they are familiar with to get His point across:
Poor… spiritually you are bankrupt
Blind… concerned with physical sight yet overlook and turn a blind eye to what God desires of you
Naked… hiding what is inside with garments externally. Stop impressing mankind and seek to please HIM!
WOW! Look at this church in these verses...
14: The fear of the Lord
15: You are NOT what I want
16: You make me want to vomit
17: Stop trusting in yourself, it’s pathetic
This is the church, what a sad place to be. This is how Christ views our worship of self… NOW LOOK at how we see Christ, what we discover about Him in the next four verses...

Verse 18… “Here is Grace and Mercy!”

GRACE… Getting what you don’t deserve
MERCY… Not getting what you do deserve
Jesus Christ offers grace and mercy to this church!
“buy from Me” Invest in Christ… how valuable is He to you, Invest it is sooooo worth it
“clothe yourself” we are made right with God at salvation, yet there is the sanctifying work that is ongoing, being clothed in His righteousness until the day of perfection with Him
“you may see” seeing what matters to God, having His vision and sight
Jesus Christ is offering them an opportunity...

Verse 19… “I love you, please repent”

Discipline is coming their way… maybe it’s coming your way. I hope not, but if it is, know that He loves you.
Proverbs 3:12 not done out of anger, spite, but love and desire for a change of heart!
Proverbs 3:12 NASB95
12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Hebrews 12:7-11 discipline is not fun or desirable, consider the following...
Hebrews 12:7–11 NASB95
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
The scary thing to me and any believer should be… living in sin, worshiping self and not experiencing the discipline of a Loving Father!

Verse 20… “Are you ready for relationship?”

This verse has been used many times out of context for purposes of evangelism… Jesus standing at the door of your heart and knocking. Nice picture but this is not the context of this verse...
He is the Master the One in authority here with His servants,
Servants are those who have placed their faith in His finished work on the cross.
It is to those who are His He is speaking to
Is He your master? Have you placed your faith in Him? If not He is not knocking at your door, you don’t belong to Him yet
But He paid the price for you… You could be His!
His servants however, should be waiting for His signal, seeking opportunity to open the door for Him
This Jesus, Master, Creator, Authority
Seeks fellowship
Desires Relationship closeness!

Verse 21… “Rule with Me, follow My example”

Oh my! How do we overcome? How do we have victory over the tendency to want to do it on our own?
Open that door… allow yourself to have a deeper relationship and closer fellowship.
Dine with Him… feast daily on the bread of His Word!
Get so close you see the example He set before you and me. He lived it for us!
Jesus was offering THIS CHURCH of Laodicea to rule with Him!
There was hope!!!
You and I have an opportunity, church, people… God offers GRACE and MERCY to His children.

Verse 22… “Everyone hearing this, pay attention!”

This is the last time Jesus says this in this book…Revelation 1:3
Revelation 1:3 NASB95
3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
We have READ the words to the churches
We have HEARD the words He has for each of us
Now we need to HEED what has been written (DO IT!!!)
For those who do, may God bring a blessing to YOU!
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