God’s Message to the Church of Laodicea
“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”(Revelation 3:14-18).
This message was given to the Christians at Laodicea. One of the main landmarks of that city was a waterfall flowing over hot springs with mineral deposits at Hierapolis. Laodicea’s water source came from an aqueduct that held warm mineral water. For this reason, lukewarm water was a characteristic of Laodiceans and it also resembled their spiritual condition.
The lukewarm spiritual condition of the Laodicean church was more dangerous than if the church had been cold. Lukewarm Christianity has a merely a form and an outside appearance of righteousness which makes the believers secure in their faith without feeling the need to pattern their hearts after the gospel message. Christians are called to walk in the light by the grace of God and reach the high standard of a holy living.
Instead, the typical Laodicean Christian is content with things as they are and is proud of the little growth he has made. And he does not realize his great need to reach God’s standard through the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the message to the Laodiceans speaks against self-satisfaction and self-righteousness (Revelation 3:18).
Because the messages to the seven churches show the entire course of the history of the Christian church, the seventh message shows the experience of the church during the closing period of earth’s history. The last message calls for preparing holy people to stand before a holy God “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27).
The members of the Church of Laodicea possessed God’s truths only intellectually but did not allow it to transform their souls. This led to spiritual pride and bigotry. So, the Lord invited His lukewarm members to accept the following remedy:
1- Gold. This represents the spiritual riches that Christ offers to the poor church. These gifts refer to the “faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6; James 2:5), and the works that result from faith (Timothy 6:18).
2- White raiment. This refers to the righteousness of Christ (Galatians 3:27; Matthew 22:11; Revelation 3:4). This raiment covers the shame of nakedness of the lukewarm members (Exodus 20:26; Lamentations 1:8; Ezekeil 16:36; 23:29; Nahum 3:5).
3-Eyesalve. This is heaven’s cure for their spiritual blindness. This is done by the ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8–11). Only through His convicting work on the heart can spiritual blindness be removed. This eyesalve helps the believer to distinguish between truth and error, and between right and wrong.
The things Christ offers the church are not without their price, yet salvation is ever free. The Church must repent of her old way of life to be truly rich, to be restored, and to be clothed with righteousness (Isaiah. 55:1).
In His service,