Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Neither Hot Nor Cold

Only one of the seven churches of Revelation is not commended for anything, the church in Laodicea. Instead this church is censured for its spiritual pride and self-satisfaction.
"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" - Rev 3:14-22 ESV
Christ introduced himself as the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. Amen is a transliterated Hebrew word originally used by Jews to confirm a prayer or discourse and make it their own. Used in many languages, it is nearly a universal word and almost identical to the Hebrew word for "believe"(Aman). These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning, the originator of God's creation

The Laodiceans were a lukewarm, tepid church, neither hot nor cold. The Greek word for boiling hot is zestos, the same word in English. This is not a word that describes the complacent, self-satisfied Laodiceans. Materially rich, living in a prosperous Roman trade city, they failed to see a real need for the LORD's riches and power. They believed themselves to have all they needed, but lacked living water, the living power of the Spirit (John 7:38-39; Isa 44:3; 58:11.

True riches are described in this letter as gold refined by fire (Rev. 3:18). The LORD is the refiner who separates His chosen priests from the dross of the impure world around them. Thus He prepares them to proclaim the wonderful deeds of Him who calls them out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Pet 2:9). Clothed by Him in white garments to cover their shame they will be prepared for what is to come.

And He will come soon. He is about to knock on the door. They are to expect His return at any moment, especially when they face tribulation, persecution and internal fighting. These are signs of the Master's imminent return.
From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. - Mark 13:28-29 ESV
Like men waiting for their master to return from his wedding feast, they were to be wide-awake servants.
Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! - Luk 12:35-38 ESV
 This leads to the final promise. They would sit with Him on His throne and drink at His table. Already now the church has a foretaste of this great banquet. Jesus spoke about this feast to come when he healed the servant of a humble Roman centurion. As Revelation closes this feast is called the marriage super of the Lamb. 
I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, - Mat 8:11; Luke 13:29 ESV
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure"-- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God." - Rev 19:6-9 ESV

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