You can watch this week’s sermon, “Wholehearted” right here.
This Sunday we continued in Revelation 3 by looking at what Jesus had to say to the church in Laodicea. This church was wealthy and unconcerned — neither hot nor cold. Jesus goes so far as to say that He’s about to vomit them out of His mouth because their lukewarmness is so disgusting. While last week’s letter to the Philadelphians was the most positive one, this week’s letter to the Laodiceans is the most negative. Jesus has nothing good to say about this church.
While listening to this sermon, it was easy for me to make connections between the church in Laodicea and the church in North America. We are wealthier than most of the world, and we are not in fear of true suffering. This likely makes us complacent and seemingly self-sufficient. It is probably normal for us to feel this way, which is why it is something for us to be aware of and work against. I know that in my own life, when things are going well — when my relationships are good, when I feel comfortably financially, when things are going my way — I suddenly lose my desperation for God and His Word. I find myself praying less. I cry out less frequently for God’s mercy and grace. But when something goes wrong in my life, I am reminded of where my true strength and comfort comes from.
We tend to forget when things go well. That’s why this chapter is such a good reminder to us — we need to remember all the Lord has done, in the good times and the bad. Personally, that’s why I love taking a look at all the holidays God wanted His people to celebrate in the Bible. They were all throughout the year and they encouraged God’s people to remember His great deeds. God knows we are forgetful, so all throughout Scripture, you see Him asking His people to take the time to remember and not forget.
This is a negative letter to the church in Laodicea. However, as Pastor Dan pointed out, Jesus loves this church. He says that He rebukes and disciplines them because He loves them. (Similar to me sternly saying “no” to my little boy when I found him swishing his hands in the toilet water this morning … I do it because I love him. 🙂
Jesus asks them to be earnest (zealous) and to repent. He asks them to open the door of every area of their lives, to welcome Him in so that He can change them for His glory.
Jesus was disappointed with the church in Laodicea, but He wasn’t finished with them. He moved toward them and asked them to hear His words and listen to the Spirit.
We might be right to compare ourselves here to the church in Laodicea. But that does not mean that God is done with us. He invites us to repent. I just finished reading all of the prophets in the Old Testament, and God spends so much time asking people to repent, to turn around, to remember Him. He wants to show them grace instead of discipline.
He does the same for us. He invites us back to wholehearted love and service of Him!