They Were Not Always This Way

Revelation 3:14-19 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; (15) I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. (16) So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (17) 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: (18) 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. (19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

When someone says 'Laodicea', what usually comes to your mind? Well, I would bet you are just like me and you think of the passage of Scripture listed above. Laodicea, to us today, represents everything that is wrong with modern Christianity. Most American churches have been resting in a rut for so long that below average now seems like the average. I cannot remember who said it, but it was once said that, "a rut is nothing more than a coffin with the ends kicked out."

The Laodicean church, and the Laodicean church age of today, is neither on fire for the Lord or just plain cold. Instead, it is lukewarm. I like hot coffee (black, no cream or sugar) and I like cold coffee (iced mocha's are nice, and I have been on a Starbucks frappuccino mocha kick here recently), but I cannot stand lukewarm coffee, i.e. the coffee that started out hot but has cooled to room temperature over time.

So, for something to be lukewarm, means that it must have first been hot. Well, you ask, is there any Bible reference to the church of Laodicea ever being hot, or on fire for the Lord? I'm glad you asked! Look at this verse:

Colossians 4:13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

As Paul is making his closing remarks in Colossians, he reminds them of the love and service of Epaphras. And in doing so, he mentions that those in Laodicea had the same zeal.

What does all of this mean when we compare Scripture with Scripture? It means that Laodicea once had a great zeal for God and the saints of God, but became lukewarm in the abundance of their blessings. Many of you who are reading this may be saying to yourself, "Well, I am not lukewarm for Christ, but I have a great zeal for serving God and His saints." And I will commend you for it, with this word of caution: If it could happen to Laodicea, it could happen to us.

Guard your faith and your fervency for the Lord lest your fire burns out and you too become lukewarm.

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