What does the message to the Laodiceans mean?


By BibleAsk Team

The Message to the Laodiceans

“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).

Since the messages to the seven churches reflect the entire course of the history of the Christian church (Revelation 1:11; 2:1), the seventh message to the Laodiceans must represent the experience of the church during the closing period of earth’s history. The spiritual condition of the Laodiceans was more dangerous than if the church had been cold. Lukewarm Christianity preserves enough of the form, and even of the content of the gospel, to dull the the spirit and make men lax to the effort necessary to the attainment of the high ideal of a victorious life in Christ. The typical Laodiceans are content with things as they are and proud of the little progress they have made. It is hard to convince them of their great need and of how far they are from the goal of perfection.

God’s Offer to the End Time Church

God offers the Laodiceans the following advice to heal its spiritual lack:

Gold: This figurative “gold” is referring to “faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6; James 2:5). The “works” that are the fruits of true faith are motivated by the spirit of appreciation for the gift of divine grace, by love for God and for one’s fellow men (Galatians 5:14; Matthew 22:34–40). It is these deeds that James speaks when he teaches that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26; 4:17).

White raiment: The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ (Galatians 3:27; Matthew 22:11; Revelation 3:4). To accept the righteousness of Christ is to adopt His principles, to copy His example, to accept His leadership, to become like Him in character (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Eyesalve: This is the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8–11). Only through the Spirit’s convicting work on the heart can spiritual blindness be taken away. Not only does the Spirit reveal sin; He convicts of positive righteousness. He prompts believers to receive the righteousness of Christ, both the imputed (Romans 10:3–10) and the imparted (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:13).

Understanding this application of the message to the Laodiceans stands as a rebuke to self-satisfaction and is an encouragement to live wholeheartedly according to the pattern of a of perfect life in Christ Jesus (Revelation 3:18). The Laodiceans are called upon to experience the warmth and enthusiasm that comes with true repentance, consecration, and devotion to Christ.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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