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Welcome everyone to the last of our Seven Churches of Revelation Study Series – The Church of Laodicea.
So far for each of the seven churches of Asia-Minor, we have looked at and broke down the Identification, the Message, and the Prophetic Outcome of each letter, and we will once again do the same for Laodicea.
So lets look at how Christ Identifies Himself in His final letter to the Church:
Like all the previous letters, this letter begins with the message “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea.”
Next Jesus Identifies Himself as: The Amen, The faithful and true Witness, and The Beginning of the Creation of God.
- The Amen can be seen in 2 Corinthians 1:20, where the Apostle Paul is describing how the promises of God are portrayed in Jesus Christ. Therefore Jesus using the title Amen is a symbolism of His promises affirmed to the Church.
- The faithful and true Witness is seen earlier in Revelation 1:5, when Jesus used this term to identify Himself to the apostle John as he was preparing to give him the message of the letters to the seven churches.
- Lastly, for the Beginning of the creation of God, is probably best seen in the very beginning of the Gospel according to John (John 1:1-John 1:5), where the apostle John confirms Christs deity (the Word was God), confirms that Jesus was in the beginning with God, and confirms that all things were made through Jesus, meaning it was Christ who created all things (John 1:3).
* Note: What’s interesting about Johns testimony of the beginning is that it gives us something that the Genesis record of creation doesn’t do. It gives us a brief glimpse ‘before’ the actual creation. Genesis starts off with the creation of earth (Genesis 1:2), but John tell us that in the beginning, before creation, was Jesus (John 1:1). The Greek translation for the term ‘Word’ used here is logos, meaning logic, therefore John was calling Jesus the ‘logic’ of God. And if you go to verse 14 (John 1:14), this is where the apostle John interprets the term ‘Word’ as being Jesus Himself, which is also why he capitalizes the W.
But now that we have Identified Jesus, lets now look at the Message that He gave to the church of Laodicea:
Like most of the other letters, Jesus will usually start off by acknowledging the churches good deeds, but then quickly rebukes them in the following message. But in the letter to Laodicea, He doesn’t acknowledge any of the churches good deeds. But why? Jesus gives them a very detailed answer: They are lukewarm.
Jesus told the church at Laodicea that they were neither hot nor cold, and that He would rather them be either one or the other (Revelation 3:15). You see, both hot and cold serve their purpose, a cold drink on a hot summer day or cool air conditioning is refreshing. On the other hand a nice hot cup of coffee or hot tea is soothing on a cold day and keeps us warm, but either one of those as lukewarm serves no purpose. This is what Jesus was explaining to the Church at Laodicea, that they were neither hot nor cold and were not serving any purpose to the body of Christ. Therefore Jesus said that because of this, he would “Spit them out of His mouth” (Revelation 3:16), just as we would spit tasteless lukewarm liquid out of ours.
Jesus then explains to the church that because they have become wealthy, they now believe that they need nothing. This is an indication that the church had fallen away, and believed that they no longer needed Jesus or the gospel because their physical needs were met, and because of this the church at Laodicea became lukewarm or passionless. Jesus then advised them to use that wealth to instead buy from Him white garments (Purity – Revelation 4:4) so as to cover their nakedness (Sin). Without this cleansing of sin, that can only be provided by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, the church of Laodicea would be condemned to destruction.
The church at Laodicea is a perfect example of what many in the church today can unfortunately relate to. There are those who claim to be Christians, yet they live their lukewarm lives as walking, passionless souls, neither being hot nor cold and serving no purpose to the body of Christ. Their nakedness (sin) is exposed due to their lack of cover (white garments/purity) that can only be provided by the blood Jesus Christ.
But Jesus gave one last message to the Church. He said that he is knocking at our door (Revelation 3:20) and waiting for us to let him in, and if we hear His voice and allow Him to come into our lives, He will then fellowship with us and us with Him.
Last we will look at the Prophetic Outcome of this letter:
Jesus then says “To him who overcomes (see 1 John 5:4 for an overcomer), “I will grant him to sit down with Me on My throne.” This means that Jesus will allow us as the Church (those of us who trusted in Jesus for our salvation), to have dominion and rule and reign alongside Him forever (Daniel 7:27).
Jesus finally ends this message with the same phrase as all the other letters, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches“. In the Prelude to this study, I explain the significance of this phrase and how it applies to the rest of the book of Revelations.
This concludes my seven part study series on: The Seven Churches of Revelation.
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And always remember, why is it important to study Bible prophecy? Because never have we been closer than today..