Laodicea was a wealthy banking center. When the city was destroyed by an earthquake, they were able to rebuild immediately with their own money, not waiting for, or wanting, Rome’s help. Greek culture was predominant. The best medical school of the time was located there, and they were well-known for their eyesalve and other medicines. They also had a clothing design center and were known for their expensive clothing.
The church in Laodicea was very wealthy, comfortable and self-sufficient. Sound familiar? This church represents the church during the end times that will go into the Tribulation.
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:” ~Revelation 3:14
“The Amen”- so be it, let it be so. When Jesus speaks, that is the way it is, the Truth. “The faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God”- He is the Witness and the Beginning, and He was there at Creation to witness it happening. Isn’t that significant during these days when evolution is considered the truth, and Creation is considered merely a fairy tale religious story? Jesus says He is the faithful and true Witness, and He saw the Beginning. He is the Amen, so what He tells us is so, is the Truth.
“‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eyesalve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.'” ~Revelation 3:15-18
There is no “good job” in this letter, no commendations for this church, only strong rebuke. “I would that you were cold or hot”. I understand why He wished they were hot, but why cold? Because then their hearts could still be won for Him. How many people around us are lukewarm- they know just enough about Jesus to make them think that they are saved, but they have never chosen Him and His death on the cross for them? Or perhaps they have, but they don’t walk with Jesus and produce no spiritual fruit? Sometimes those are the hardest people to reach.
Laodicea was extremely wealthy, yet Jesus told them they were wretched (pitiful, useless, empty), miserable, poor, blind and naked. I can’t imagine how offended they must have been! They were known for their banking, clothing, and medicine. Jesus tells them to buy from Him gold refined in the fire- the blood of Jesus which pays for all our spiritual debt; white garments- the righteousness of Jesus; and eyesalve- hearts cleansed so they might really see. So many people in our culture today think that health and money, and the things that money can buy, are all that matter. Yet what does it profit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his soul? (Mark 8:36)
“‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.'” ~Revelation 3:19-21
Jesus loves us all, whether we accept Him or reject Him. He is calling us always to repent and come to Him. I find it sobering that He is telling this church that He is at the door, knocking, and if they open the door He will come in. That means that He had not been invited into this church, and perhaps not even into the hearts of the individuals. Is this letter written to the unsaved people of the church, those that might be left behind at the Rapture?
“‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne,'” We who have chosen Jesus as Saviour and Lord will reign in heaven with Him.
Oh, that everyone would choose to open the door to Jesus! 🙂