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The final church John wrote the messages to was unto the church of Laodicea. Laodicea was located at the intersection of 3 major travel routes and as such as was very prosperous and commercial city. It had many large theaters, public baths, stadiums and shopping centers. There were many wealthy people here who banded together to build anything and everything they could want or need. Historically this is the age that began in the early 1900’s and is where we are currently living today. Notice the correlation between that city and the cities of the today. Let us look at the message that John was given for them in Revelations 3 beginning at verse 14.
14 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;
He clearly states he knows of their works. There is no hiding what they are. He calls them lukewarm. This means they have not turned away from God and grown totally indifferent but they are not “on fire” for God as the Philadelphia church had been. Instead they are lukewarm, they are content. No one likes to drink a lukewarm hot chocolate or coffee; it is supposed to be drunk hot. No one likes a lukewarm soda, those are supposed to be drunk cold. What happens if you pick up a glass of Coke expecting it to be cold and instead it is lukewarm? 99 people out of 100 will spew it out or at least want to! Actually the Greek word used here is emew which means to vomit so the KJV translation is actually a bit milder than what it really originally written. That is what God is telling these people, he would prefer they be either hot or cold, this lukewarm stuff isn’t going to cut it. This was concept they would have been familiar with as hot springs existed in nearby Hierpolis which would have been known for its healing capabilities (we all know a hot soak makes us feel better if we are achy) as well as the cold springs of Colassae. The water in Laodicea traveled to the city via an aqueduct from a spring 4 miles away thereby arriving and not being nearly as refreshing as a cold drink is.
And why does he say they are lukewarm? Because the people say to themselves “I am rich and have need of nothing”. Look at the churches (people) today in America, they keep building bigger churches, fellowship halls, gyms, etc. They flaunt the wealth of the church. How does a church become so wealthy? They do it by attracting the people who are wealthy themselves in order to support such a place. People who have money, power, influence, etc believe they have no need to rely on God to help them. They believe they have everything they need, they are totally self sufficient, but he is quick to tell them they are miserable, poor, blind and naked. Now we know they are not poor or naked in the physical sense but what about spiritually?
How is it that a church in a country that is blessed with so much prosperity has become so lackadaisical when it comes to spiritual matters? Look at what we are encouraged to be doing in the natural, looking out for our own comfort and well being. We are being encouraged for the most part to be concerned with ME by our media and our government. Companies market their ad campaigns to the ME concept. The morals of both the USA and Europe have “gone to hell in a hand basket” as my granny would have said. The general consensus has become: If YOU enjoy doing something, why shouldn’t you? Who has the right to tell you whether it’s ok to have sex before marriage, or to be gay? Who has the right to tell you that you aren’t contributing enough to the “poor of the church”? After all, YOU’RE the one working hard for this and who is anyone else to judge you. You’re the one working 80 hours a week to have a million dollar home, 4 cars, a boat, and vacations in the highest luxury. You deserve it, not some single mother who is being kicked out of her home because she can’t afford the rent anymore. You rationalize it away by saying “there are government programs to help her and if she really wanted to take care of her kids she’d get a job”. Yet many of these same people refuse to pay a decent wage because they want more of the wealth to keep for themselves.
And therein you find the answers. People no longer are willing to accept responsibility for anything. They have become more prosperous and are relying on the riches and prosperity than they are on the one who allowed them to have these blessings. Paul warned against this in 1 Timothy chapter 6.
17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not
highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God,
who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
Yet here in the Laodicean church we find people not doing this. We find people who believe they have all they need and are not doing as they should be. This is a church that there is not ONE commendation to. There is NOTHING good they are doing. But Jesus has not given up on them. Once again we see Jesus telling them to repent of the things they are doing and turn back to him. He wants them to trust him and not their riches.
18 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 far as Jesus was concerned this church had nothing. They were poor (even though they had physical wealth), they were naked (spiritually they were not clothed in his raiment), and they were blind spiritually (they couldn’t see what they had become). Yet to all physical appearances this was a prosperous church, one that has plenty of wealth in it which just goes to show that what appears to be isn’t always what it is.
Jesus tells them he is standing at the door and knocking. Obviously since he is knocking at a door, he must not be on the inside. So that leads us to believe that this church has become so complacent and confident in themselves they no longer feel the need to rely on Jesus but he does promise that those who hear him and answer, then he will come in. In other words, those that DO repent will be overcomers and sit with him in his throne.
Now what is the major characteristic of the church today? The church world as a whole has become complacent in dealing with issues. Christians stood back and gave the governments more and more control over how things should be done. “Politically correct” has become the way to be because we don’t want to offend anyone. Humanism and atheism are running rampant throughout our countries. Churches/Christians no longer have any major impact on the governments. Government policies are becoming more and more anti- biblical and non tolerant to Christian beliefs and meanwhile what is this “self sufficient church” doing? Sitting back and doing nothing because they are content. They have become blind to the tactics of Satan and as a result, Satan has crept in and has gradually overtaken the governments of the world as well as getting into many of the pulpits of the world.
You are probably asking yourself how this is possible. One characteristic of this “church” is their confidence in they can handle anything instead of turning to God. Instead of taking it to prayer and letting God lead them, they get among themselves and they try to work things out. One thing that resulted from this “working things out” that has come about is the World Council of Churches. This was formed in 1948 not too long after Israel became its own nation again with members of 147 denominations from both Protestant and Orthodox backgrounds representing some 400 million people. It has become the voice of ECUMENISM, which is a term that is used to describe the effort to bring all churches into a unity in one faith and one fellowship. Since that time it has expanded its vision to include all faiths. The ultimate goal is a one world religion which is what will come into being under the rule of the Antichrist. But we will get more into this later. I just wanted to bring this in now to show you that the foundation for this one world religion has already been laid. I strongly recommend that everyone needs to visit http://www.apfn.org/apfn/wcc.htm and read about the World Council of Churches. It has the most in-depth explanation of the history/goals of the World Council of Churches I have been able to find. Now while this is several years old, because it is dealing with the history of the World Council of Churches, that part hasn’t changed.
This is the world we are living in today. This is the age that will exist up until Jesus comes back to take away his church in what is known as the Rapture which my friends is not very far away.
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