Summary: SEVENTH IN SERIES OF SEVEN SERMONS ON THE SEVEN CHURCHES OF ASIA MINOR, SPECIFICALLY THE CHURCH AT LAODECIA
Sermon By: Dr. Todd Morris
Title: The Church That Made Jesus Sick (Seven Churches #7)
Text: Revelation 3:14-22
Date: June 25, 2006
Intro. Today we reach the last of the seven churches in our series on the seven churches of Revelation. A couple of these churches have been good, but in reality most had serious problems. The downward slide that began with Ephesus losing their first love has now culminated in Laodicea being totally apostate. This church has gotten so far away from the Lord that Jesus declares that it literally makes Him sick.
Before we really dig into theses verses, I want to remind you that these letters have three perspectives to them. 1) Practically, they are written to literal churches with literal problems, 2) prophetically, they represent different stages in church history (the Laodicean age is 1900 to rapture), and 3) Personally, they speak to every Christian and every church that reads them. They have a word for each of us as individuals as well as our congregations as a whole.
Lets take a close look at the kind of church, and the kind of Christian that makes Jesus sick.
I THE PROBLEMS AT LAODICEA (14-17)
A. There Was The Problem of Possession (14) – Notice the words, “church OF the Laodiceans.” In every other letter you will notice that the church is referred to as, “the church in…. or the church of…..” and the name of the city is there, but here Christ calls it the church of the Laodiceans. In other words IT WASN’T HIS CHURCH IT WAS THEIRS.
B. There Was The Problem of Passion (15a) – Jesus tells them that they are like the water in their city, they have become lukewarm. Laodicea had no water supply of its own, so it piped cold water all the way form Colossea via aqueducts, so by the time it arrived it wasn’t cold anymore, but warm. They piped hot water from Hierapolis Springs six miles away, so by the time it reached the city, it to was only warm. So you could find neither the refreshment of cold water or the relaxation of hot water in Laodicea, only warm water that satisfied neither need. Churches and Christians of our day have lost their passion. The cross and the lost no longer move them. They have no passion for the Lord.
1. These Are Hard Churches To Pastor – The people believe they are right, but in reality they are indifferent. They simply don’t care
2. These Are Hard to Move for the Lord – Nothing moves them anymore. If people get saved great, if not ok. If the preaching is hot and passionate, great, if not, ok. They might like to see growth, but they aren’t going to put themselves out to help create it.
3. These Misrepresent the Lord – Jesus was a man of passion! His disciples were passionate, and that fire showed in their life and ministry. When we are indifferent it gives the impression that Jesus is because we represent Him.
C. There Was The Problem of Perception (17) – When the members of the church at Laodicea looked at themselves they saw themselves as the perfect church. They were wealthy, they were powerful, they had all they needed. They could look around and say, “we have arrived.” Yet in truth they were apathetic, indifferent, and unmoved.
II THE PERSCRIPTION FOR LAODICEA (14-19)
A. A Divine Appearance (14) – Jesus comes to this problem filled church not glossing over them problems, but as:
1. The Confirming One – The “Amen.” It is a Hebrew word that means, “So Be It, Let it be so, It is so, it is true.” Jesus comes as God’s final word to man. The absolute truth of God revealed.
2. The Confronting One – “The faithful and true witness.” This church refused to see themselves as they really were, and Jesus wanted them to know that He knows them as they really are.
3. The Controlling One – “The beginning of the creation of God.” This identifies Jesus as the creator and controller of all things. Not a speck of dust can move in this universe without His permission. He is in control! He comes to a church that thought it was running its own show, and reminds them that he is still on the throne.
B. A Divine Announcement (15b-16) – Jesus has a word for this church.
1. The Lord’s Desire For The Church (15b) – He wants them to be either hot or cold, but to be a place of refreshment or healing, but as it is they are neither.
2. The Lord’s Disgust With The Church (16) – He will “spue them out of His mouth.” The word “spue” is strong indeed. It means to vomit or throw up. The Greek word is “emeo.” It is the word from which we get our English word “emetic.” An emetic is something that makes you vomit. Jesus tells this church that they make Him want to vomit!