Yesterday morning, I concluded a sermon series based on the letters to the seven churches of Asia in Revelation 2-3. The final letter is addressed to the church in Laodicea, Christians to whom no words or praise are offered. This little post are a few related thoughts to yesterday’s sermon.
The appointment was routine, but the results were far from it. What started as an annual checkup at the doctor’s office became a life-altering moment of human mortality. More tests needed to be done. Current information was inconclusive, but there was a chance that something was seriously wrong. The man felt healthy that morning as he went in to see the doctor, but he left that afternoon feeling broken.
We all know people who have experienced the above scenario. They weren’t sick – or, at least, they didn’t feel sick – but, shockingly enough, something was seriously wrong. That is exactly what happened to the Christians in the congregation at Laodicea. When the Great Physician came, they thought that everything was fine, but the facts were far different.
THE DIAGNOSIS. In Revelation 3:17, Jesus describes how these Christians viewed themselves. They said, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing.” But Jesus had the truth. He said that they were actually “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” These brethren had lulled themselves into a spiritual coma. They were “neither cold nor hot” (Rev. 3:15); they had grown lukewarm, complacent, and indifferent. Little more than a flicker remained of the spiritual flame that once blazed in their hearts. Perhaps you and I can relate. Let’s hasten to the solution!
THE PRESCRIPTION. There was a three-fold prescription for the three-fold problem:
- A co-payment. The Lord said, “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich” (Rev. 3:18). Though they were spiritually poor, Jesus commanded that they pay a price. Jesus gave His life for us, and we must give our lives to Him (Luke 9:23-25; Gal. 2:20). They were to give their lives to Jesus, and remain faithful to Him through the fiery trials of life (1 Pet. 1:7).
- A uniform. Jesus commanded them to put on “white garments, that you may be clothed.” The white color represents the holiness to which all of God’s children are called (1 Pet. 1:13-16). Holiness is to be our identity, character, and reputation.
- An ointment. The Laodiceans excelled in ophthalmology, yet they knew nothing of their spiritual blindness. God’s Word had the cure (2 Cor. 4:18; 5:7).
Jesus diagnosed them as poor, naked, and blind. Then, He gave the prescription so they could be spiritually rich, spiritually clothed, and have spiritual sight.
I’m afraid too many Christians are like our Laodicean brethren. This is no small issue! Let us take action TODAY to follow the prescription of our Great Physician.