Laodicea — The Lukewarm Church (Revelation 3:14-22) Some of the Lord’s harshest words recorded in the Bible were directed at the church in Laodicea. He said the church made Him ill (Revelation 3:16). Lacking in every way, it was compromising, conceited, and Christ-less. Today’s Church should take note; those words may apply to us as well.
The Prescription for Spiritual Poverty — The Laodiceans were financially wealthy, yet spiritually bankrupt. They lacked spiritual riches, which only come through Christ (Revelation 3:18). When God blesses Christians with prosperity, He expects Christ-centered stewardship. A Christian with wealth bears a burden of responsibility to discover God’s purpose in blessing him with that wealth—and to use it accordingly.
The Prescription for Spiritual Nakedness — Nakedness in Scripture is a metaphor for defeat and humiliation. The Laodiceans pretended to be clothed in righteousness, but in fact they were naked, lacking righteous acts. Instead of being on fire for the Lord, they were lukewarm. Therefore, Christ counseled them to procure “white garments” from Him so that their shame might be covered (Revelation 3:18).
The Prescription for Spiritual Blindness — By calling the Laodiceans “blind” (verse 17), Christ was presenting a paradox. The city was famous for its export of a powder that created an eye salve when mixed with water. (It even had some medical benefit.) Yet the Laodicean church had lost its spiritual perception. The only salve for spiritual blindness is repentance and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking Him for the wisdom of His Spirit to restore our spiritual sight.
The Prescription for Spiritual Compromise — There is only one word of counsel for the spiritually compromised: “Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19). But Jesus also puts those firm words in context: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” Good parents discipline the children they love. But have you ever seen a parent give up on a child? Maybe they throw up their hands and walk away. It’s heartbreaking. We can be glad God doesn’t do that. He loves us too much to leave us the way we are, and He wants us to come back to Him when we need to.
The Prescription for Their Christlessness — Christ does not barge into churches where He is unwelcome—He waits for an invitation. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). Apparently, there were even fewer believers at Laodicea than there were at Sardis—His invitation extends to anyone who hears His voice.
From a prophetic perspective, Laodicea is a picture of the Church in the last days. It is sad to imagine Christ standing outside His own Church, but we need to ask ourselves if it is a picture of us. Has the Lord been pushed out of our assemblies? Has His Word been compromised in our pulpits? Are we too busy with plans and programs to even notice that He has been crowded out? If Christ is knocking at the door of your heart or your Church, do not delay—invite Him in.