The Revelation Given to John by Jesus Through the Angel
The Letter to Laodicea
This church stands alone because Mashiach has no praise for it. It is the most useless of the churches, but he doesn’t leave the church hopeless; he tells them what to do about their problem.
Yeshua reminds the church at Laodicea that he is the Amen, the ultimate confirmation[i]of the truth. He is the faithful and true witness, the exact representation of his Father[ii]. He is the ruler of god’s creation[iii], the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The church sometimes feels that is does well enough to get by. The members certainly aren’t too heavenly minded to be any earthly good, and no one could say they are bit fanatical. And they aren’t like those pagans who never go to church. They even go to church every Sunday – when they don’t have anything better to do, or aren’t too tired to get out of bed. They always try to attend services when someone is going to be baptized, or when the church has its community dinners. Some of them are always faithful to church services because it is family tradition. They tell the pastor how much they enjoyed his talk and are involved in all the meetings and methods of the church. The pastor tells his flock what it wants to hear and is careful not to rock any boats. Altogether, they are kind of ho-hum Christians. They can take the word or leave it, it’s all the same to them.
Then there is that man or woman who is mad at God and gives him and his church the cold shoulder. Yeshua says he would rather deal with that person than the Christian who just doesn’t care.
There are many churches in America today that are lukewarm, as there have always been. There are also many churches in other parts of the world that are on fire for God, as there have always been. The reason why the church in America, as a whole, looks so much like the Laodicean church is that both could so easily mistake their temporal wealth for spiritual wealth. There are lots of churches teaching a prosperity gospel that turns the Christian’s eyes away from God and concentrates on the so-called blessings of God – i.e.: monetary wealth and power.
Laodicea was a wealthy banking city, one of the wealthiest in the world[iv]. It was a medical center and was famous for eye and ear ointments. It was also a clothing manufacturing center. But Yeshua made it clear that all of this wealth and healing was no good to their souls. Their souls were poor, wretched and blind. All of the wealth and power of the world is nothing but temporary garnish that will perish. What Yeshua offers is eternal[v]. Yeshua is the gold refined in the fire of the cross. When we are covered with the righteousness of Mashiach, we have the finest linen. The balm of God is eternal healing, better than any temporary salve bought at the pharmacy[vi].
If we never hear a rebuke from God, no matter how much we ignore him, we have reason to fear that he no longer loves us[vii]. But if things aren’t quite going our way, if we don’t always get what we want in this life, we can be sure that a loving God is giving us what we need and drawing us closer to himself.
The promise is for those who overcome by the blood of the Lamb. We will sit with Yeshua at the heavenly meal with a permanent place of honor[viii].
Prayer: Lord, I acknowledged my putrefying state and you had mercy on me and stamped out my offensive behavior, washed all my wickedness away and cleansed me from my sin. I went to the Truth and the Truth made me free. Now I hear joy and gladness and have stepped from death into life with the promise of a clean heart and right spirit daily being implemented as I turn from the dead works of my decaying sinful nature and walk close to you in the light. I look forward, with glorious expectation. To the day when all of creation will be free from the bondage of corruption and our eternal abode is a new heaven and earth where righteousness is settled forever. Thank you, my Savior and King. I love you.
[i] John 8:58
[ii] Philippians 2:6
[iii] Colossians 1:16-18
[iv] Barkley, page 138
[v] I Peter 1:5-8
[vi] Isaiah 55:1-5
[vii] Hebrews 12:5, 6
[viii] Ephesians 1:3-14