Revelation 3:14-22 – Church of the Laodiceans
- 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;
- 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
- 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
- 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
- 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.
- 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
- 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
- 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
- 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
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In the Church of the Laodiceans
Laodicea was a wealthy city during the Roman period.
- Not only was Laodicea located on major trade routes that connected it to important cities likeEphesus, Smyrna and Sardis, but also a center of textile production and banking.
- Jesus is telling the Church of Laodicea that he see’s they believe themselves to be wealthy.
- However, even though the Church of Laodicea was important, Jesus saw them as neither hot nor cold.
14 Jesus Describes Himself
- Jesus describes himself as the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
- In other words, Jesus is saying that He is the one that all the promises of God are fulfilled through.
2 Corinthians 1:20 says:
- 20For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
The promises God made to mankind (salvation, pardon of sin, grace, mercy, love, guidance, first death and eternal glory) through Christ are fulfilled on the day of glory.
- The Lord himself said he is the “Amen” and so the promises are meant for forever to those who are righteous.
- But, in fact is in complete contrast to the Church of Laodicea.
15 Jesus sees a bad quality in the Church
Jesus shows that he sees a bad quality in the Church of Laodicea with his opening address to them.
- Christ addresses this particular letter to the leader of the church: “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write”.
- He used this opening instead of opening “to the Church in (city)”, as he did the others.
- Jesus appears to be saying they are a church all for themselves and are not being the Church of God in Laodicea.
- I looked up the word “Laodicea” and found many meanings:
- Public serving.
- Popular or common.
- Principle people.
16 I know thy works
I know thy works – Jesus see’s that He is nothing to them and tells them so.
- The Laodicean’s are neither cold nor hot – but lukewarm. And they seem to be content with that.
- They have not made any kind of commitment towards Jesus at all.
- He wishes they were cold or hot because those attributes could be worked on.
They are immediately brought to judgement with a warning that if they don’t change, he will spew (vomit) them out of his mouth.
- Jesus will give up on them if they don’t change quickly.
- Meaning, that if you reject God, he will reject you!
- This does not mean that if their names are written in the Book of Life, they will be removed.
- It probably means that some of the people’s names were never written in the Book of Life, in the first place.
17 The Laodicean’s felt they were wealthy and rich.
- As a result, they needed nothing from anyone (including Jesus).
- Christ tells them they really have nothing at all.
- In fact, despite what they may think, they were very poor.
- Jesus explains just how poor they are: “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”.
18 Jesus urges the people
Jesus encourages them to turn to him and receive the important things in life (which do not include material things).
- His gold – be rich in Christ. Because without him, they are nothing.
- Naked – their souls were empty and would be eternally.
- His white coverings – they didn’t have the covering of the purity in Jesus.
- His eye salve – which would give them spiritual sight.
- They had the pride of “being rich” both individually and in their Church.
- Whereas without Christ they were very, very poor and had nothing at all.
- They needed to stop believing all things were through their own making.
- Because, it is God who supplies what we really need; not ourselves.
19 Jesus is reprimanding the church
Jesus is rebuking the Church in Laodicea so they will turn to him and see what is truly happening to them.
- Jesus criticizes those he loves.
- So, he tells the Laodicean’s that because of his love for them, he is giving them a chance to change.
- Because, He wants them to get some spiritual fire and repent of their conceitedness.
- And then, to turn to Him for salvation.
20 Turn from being the Church of the Laodicean’s
Jesus invites the Church of the Laodicean’s to become the Church in Laodicea.
- Instead of being the Church of the people, Jesus wants it to be the Church of God in Laodicea.
- He encourages them to hear his knocking on their hearts and as a result, to open it and allow him to enter.
- In fact, Jesus is giving them a chance to repent and change their ways.
- That is, if they open the door and invite him in, He will come in and spend time with them.
In the last letter to the 7 Churches
Then in this, the last letter, Jesus offers the same invitation to every individual.
- If anyone anywhere or at any time hears the knock of Jesus on their heart and invites him in, Jesus will come in.
21 We (of all eras)
We have now been given instructions and told that those who overcome sin will be granted the opportunity to sit with the Son of God on His throne and be with him forever and ever.
- Jesus has said repeatedly that these letters were not just for the Churches in John’s time but for all people through-out history.
22 For the final time John writes Jesus’ Message
In Revelation 3:14-22 John writes Jesus’ message one final time – “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”.
- Do we have ears to listen and overcome?
Check out Who Am I Worshipping? JEREMIAH 10: 6-7