Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Seven Churches of Revelation: Laodicea Part 8 of 8

The Seven Churches of Revelation

David Q. Santos

7. Laodicea: The Lukewarm Church
Revelation 3:14 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; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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: 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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. 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Laodicea was 45 miles southeast of Philadelphia and 90 miles east of Ephesus. It was a wealthy city with thriving banks, a textile industry, and a medical school. The city was also known for its sparse water supply. All of these characteristics are played upon in Christ’s message to the church.[1] It was founded by Antiochus II in the middle of the third century BC and named after his wife Laodice. This church is overshadowed by its nature of being lukewarm. They have knowledge and understanding of the things of God and yet they have no real zeal for God. But on the other hand they do not have any hatred of God either. The concept behind the name Laodicea is that the people rule. In fact this letter is written to the “church of the Laodiceans” rather than to the church in the city. This city was nearly indefensible but kept in tact by making deals with the world around it. Walvoord wrote, “The indifference embodied in the term ‘lukewarm’ in this passage seems to extend to their conviction respecting the central doctrines of the Christian faith, such as the necessity of the new birth and the need for a dramatic change in life and perspective required of a true Christian.”[2]

This lukewarm church foreshadows a church age that is lukewarm. There are many churches today that are leaving the faith and forgetting about true solid biblical doctrine that define Christianity. This time period will be the final stage in church history. As church history comes to an end the true believers of the faith will be removed and the 70th week of Daniel will begin. After church history God’s judgment will be poured out on a world that has rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Those that remain faithful to the faith and to His name will be found part of the one true church.

Work Cited:
Courson, Jon. Jon Courson’s Application Commentary: New Testament. Nashville. Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2003.
Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nashville TN. 1997.
Ryrie, Charles, Caldwell. Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth. Chicago IL. Moody Press. 1999.
Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. The Ryrie Study Bible. Chicago, Moody Press. 1978.
Showers, Renald Dr. Maranatha: Our Lord, Come! The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc. Bellmawr, NJ. 1995.
Strong’s Bible Dictionary. The Online Bible Millennium Edition Version 1.2. Winterbourne Ontario, Canada. 1999.
Scofield C.I. Rev. D.D. Scofield Reference Bible-Reproduction of 1917. Greenville, SC. Stonehaven Press.
Townsend, Jeffrey L. The Rapture in Revelation 3:10. Dallas Texas. Bibliotheca Sacra. July-Sept 1980.
Wallace, Roy Dr. Studies from Revelation. Shreveport, Louisiana. Lin Wel Publishing. 2002.
Walvoord, John F. The Rapture Question. Grand Rapids MI. Zondervan Publishing House. 1979.
Walvoord, John F. The Revelation of Jesus Christ: A Commentary By John F. Walvoord. Chicago. Moody Press. 1966.
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[1] Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible. Pg 2170.
[2] Walvoord, John F. The Revelation of Jesus Christ: A Commentary By John F. Walvoord. Pg 95.

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