The Church at Laodicea

During September, we have attempted to raise awareness on the real problem of Christian hypocrisy. Today, we’ll examine Jesus’ stunning condemnation of the church in Laodicea. What was the background of the church and community? What was Jesus’ condemnation, counsel, and warning? How did Jesus extend a very personal invitation?

I. THE BACKGROUND

  1. 3.14 – Regarding Jesus: He is identified by three things.
  2. 3.14a – The Amen; 3.14b – The faithful and true witness; 3.14c – The beginning of Gods creation.
  3. The City of Laodicea.
    1. Place of trade. Large Jewish population, living in ease & luxury.
    2. Tenuous water supply. Banking center. Industrial and medical center.
  4. The Church: No record of its establishment. No commendation for this church.

II. CONDEMNATION, COUNSEL, and a WARNING:

  1. 3.15-17 – Condemnation. Two parts.
  2. 3.16 – They were lukewarm.
    1. 3.15a – I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.
    2. 3.15b – Would that you were either cold or hot. Think of their water supply.
    3. 3.16 – You are lukewarm, only something to be spewed out.
  3. 3.17 – Self-deceived. Felt they were in need of nothing. But they were:
    1. Wretched. Means “in distress or trouble.”
    2. Pitiable & Poor. Needed Mercy. In“Grinding poverty and need.”
    3. Blind. Spiritually, they had no vision.
    4. Naked. Exposed and humiliated before God.
  4. 3.18 – Counsel. Directly from Jesus. Told to buy three things:
    1. How to buy? They’re bankrupt. Answer: offer themselves.
    2. White Garments. Jesus wanted their spiritual nakedness covered.
    3. Salve. They needed to see things for what they are.
  5. 3.19 – Warning.
    1. A tender warning with an expression of love. (Phileo, love of affection).
    2. Discipline with the objective of obedience.

III. A VERY PERSONAL INVITATION:

  1. 3.20a – No coercion. Note…this is not written to those outside of Christ.
  2. 3.20b – They are called on assess their spiritual condition and open the door.
  3. 3.20c-22 – The prospect of overcoming is in view.

CONCLUSION:

  1. What is the overall pattern of your life? Hypocrite?
  2. If so, Jesus says, 3.20-22. How can we serve you today?

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