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The Lukewarm Church - Part 1 - Revelation 3:14-22

God 1st / Brian C Thomas
The Truth Network Radio
August 29, 2020 2:00 pm

The Lukewarm Church - Part 1 - Revelation 3:14-22

God 1st / Brian C Thomas

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August 29, 2020 2:00 pm

What does a lukewarm church look like? Join Brian and Denita as they take a verse by verse look at the church at Laodecia. Main Text: Revelation 3:14-22

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Welcome to God First with Brian C. Thomas, a program committed to encouraging you to put God first while viewing life through the window of the Bible. Now, in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, let's join Brian C. Thomas for today's message. I am so delighted that you are joining us today on the God First program as I am joined by my lovely wife who doubles as co-hosts. And we are here today to continue our series in the Book of Revelation.

And I just want to ask you to start out. Have you gone crazy or have you lost your mind yet? Have I lost my mind? You feel OK? Because, you know, there's a saying out there that if you read the Book of Revelation that you'll go crazy.

You will lose your mind. There are a lot of people that say that, but you're good. I'm good. So you're enjoying this series?

Yes, I am. All right. And one of the things I tell people is why and how would a loving God who sacrificed his life, he came out of a perfect heaven, suffered and died for us, why would he then turn around and give us a book that is going to drive us crazy?

That is just one of the insane deceptions that we hear out there that the devil has caused people to believe. So I just want to make sure that you are OK, that you haven't gone crazy, haven't lost your mind. And so as we continue, we are coming up on the last church of the seven churches. And, you know, there's a saying out there that you save the best for last. You kind of like you think about some of the foods that you eat, you have a meal, maybe let's say it's McDonald's, like our son, and he has a cheeseburger fries. He'll he loves it all, but he'll eat the burger first and he saves the fries for last. And a lot of people do that.

So they have that that last good taste in their mouth. But Jesus, when it came to these seven churches, he totally dismissed that principle because he did not save the best for last. Matter of fact, he saved the worst for last, by far the worst. And we are talking about the church at Laodicea. So we're looking at a message titled Luke Warm Church, the Luke Warm Church, again, the church at Laodicea. So let us open in prayer. Heavenly Father, we thank you, Lord Jesus, for this opportunity to look at this letter that you had to the Luke Warm Church, the church at Laodicea. And we ask, Lord, that you will open our hearts and minds to receive your word. We pray that all things are spoken, that it be nothing but sound doctrine. And may you be honored and glorified in all things in the name of Jesus. Amen. Amen. All right.

So let's take it away. Let's give us a little background about this church at Laodicea. OK, so we find here a graphic prophecy of the modern apostate church, and it was located about 40 miles from Ephesus. And it was a thriving center for commerce and industry. So they were doing very well. And they had a lot of prominent Greek culture and a lot of learning, a lot of knowledge seeking in this city. And based on present day ruins, this church was believed to have been wealthy, extremely rich.

Yeah. So it was an extremely rich and wealthy church. And it puts us in the mind of, you know, we've talked about Luke Warm, but it also puts us in the mind of apostate that or that's another way you could talk about or describe a lukewarm church as the apostate church. And as we look at the different periods of dispensation, we find that this church represents the period known as the People's Church or the period from nineteen hundred A.D. to the tribulation. And the interesting thing is that when we looked at the first three church ages, we find that they are different than the last four in that the when we look at the first three, each of the former stopped at the next church. So Ephesus was replaced by Smyrna. Smyrna was replaced by Pergamos and Pergamos replaced by Thyatira. But when we look at this church here, when we come to these last four, we find that the Thyatira church, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea are all present today.

They're like all running together. And as we look at this church beginning again around nineteen hundred A.D., we're in this church age and it is just increasing at an intense pace. This apostate church is what we see all around us and it is very rampant. So our message goal today is about really repent and and repent of indifference. And so the first part of this letter, there's a charge to the angel of the church, Laodicea, and that's in Revelation three, verse 14. And the Bible reads and to the angel of the church of the Laodicea is right. These things says the amen, the fine, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.

Yeah. So when we see the word amen, that is a Hebrew word that means true. We know that we say that at the end of prayers because it conveys finality. And so Jesus Christ, he is the final truth. And we look at the Book of Revelation and that's why it is there at the end. This is a finality and it is God's revelation to mankind of the person of Jesus Christ. And that is why, again, I ask people the question, if you are a lover of Christ and you are following him, why would you not want to know the final book that tells about his victory? Because that's what it's all about.

Yeah. And so Jesus is the truth, the faithful witness of truth. And he knows the end from the beginning.

Isn't that awesome? And so in John three, verse 34, it reads his word. It tells us that his word is absolute authority because one, he is God to God gives the spirit without limit.

He is limitless. Yeah. And also in some translations, when we look at where it says beginning or when it says ruler, the beginning is ruler in some translation. So Jesus Christ is the creator.

And that is what some people don't seem to understand. A lot of people think of Christ in that he only came into existence when he was born in the manger and he came to earth. But Jesus Christ has always existed. Jesus Christ is God, the son. He's part of the God here.

God in three persons, God, the father, God, the son, God, the Holy Spirit. And Colossians chapter one, verses 16 through 17. It tells us for by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created by him and for him. And he is before all things. And by him, all things consist. So we see that Jesus Christ, he created this beautiful earth that we're living in.

He created all things. And there are people out there that when it comes to the topic of abortion and you hear a lot of women say, well, this is my body. I have the right to do what I want to do with it. But our Lord says, no, it's not your own body. We belong to him and we must abide and follow by his rules.

And if we don't, there are going to be consequences. So when we look at it, Christ, he's the beginner, beginner of creation. He's the faithful witness of everything that emanates from God. And he is the final authority, which, of course, is going to be climax at his second coming.

And I really love how this starts. This whole letter starts out with Jesus's character, knowing who he is. And I think that's really important that the first thing you do is acknowledge his lordship, acknowledge his power, his authority, his majesty. He is the truth. He is the only truth. And so I think it's important to acknowledge that first, knowing who he is.

If you don't know who he is, how can you respect who he is and his authority and his lordship? And so now we move on to the condemnation. And in Revelation three, verse 15, it reads, I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.

I could wish you were cold or hot. Yeah, sadly, the church at Laodicea was so bad that of all the seven churches, it holds the distinction as the only church of the seven that did not receive a single commendation from Christ. He had nothing good to say about this church at all. And the church was sick and lukewarm, meaning it was just indifferent. It was a church that did not want to take a stand. They were just there to go to church, go through the motions. And unfortunately, we see that today in which people don't seem to have a strong desire as we're in this COVID-19 pandemic and a lot of churches have closed. And I don't disagree with with churches closing early on until we tried to figure out what was happening. But there are churches that have made no effort to have any type of service at all, nothing virtually. And even when it comes to drive in churches, you could do things outside.

And there are churches that have made absolutely no effort. And the people seem fine with it. They seem happy.

They seem totally content. And again, I'm all for the virtual services watching online. But I do think we're at a point now where people should at least be doing outdoor service, to say the least. But again, I see churches that are making no effort. And I think about I was reading just a couple of weeks ago about Christians in India. And there was a case in which a husband was dragged out into the streets, he and his wife, and they were brutally beaten. And the husband was actually killed because of the fact that they followed Jesus Christ and would not follow the Hindu gods. And so the villagers were making an example out of them. But the others who were believers in Christ that were still in the village, they still would meet and gather in in secret as much as possible.

But they knew it was a risk that if they were found out, they would also likely face death, face beating. And it makes me think when I when I say that, because here in our nation, we have people that will say simply because of of a virus that we can't even get together in a parking lot to have church that won't even make that effort. And it makes me think about believers in places like India and in China, where people are losing their lives because of their faith in Jesus Christ, what they must think about these churches today that are making no effort. And that is why Second Timothy three five says, have any form of godliness but denying the power thereof from such turn away. There are so many that are being deceived today because the churches that are going through these motions, they don't have the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Right. And it makes me think about how some churches here in America and maybe other places, they're trying to be woke and starting this social gospel. And so they're supporting these worldly ideologies that have no basis in the word of God. And so they're trying to appease both sides, the world and the godly people.

And that kind of makes them lukewarm, right? Because they're kind of straddling the fences, they say. They won't take a firm stand on anything. They're wishy washy Christians in a sense, but they're still desiring God's approval and his covering. And so this actually causes some kind of like a confusion or even division in the church. When you have the pastor taking worldly things and rolling them and trying to mesh them with the the word of God or the godly things. And you have people who are saying, no, that's that's not right.

We should not do that. And then you have some that's like, whoa, yeah, go ahead on, you know, and all of this social gospel, social justice stuff. And I think that that causes a division in the church.

It causes a divide. Yeah. And let me just say this, that we don't embrace all this stuff that's going on with this BLM movement and everything, but we are woke.

Right. And that's in the sense that we're not in the dark. We're not asleep. We have the Holy Spirit that is guiding us. So this whole woke stuff, you know, it is something that is not of God.

We should stay away from that. Yeah. The only woke you need is being a light. If you're a light being wide eyed and spiritual, spiritual eyes open. That's the kind of woke we are.

Yeah. So we're going to take a short break, but don't go away when we come back. We are going to conclude looking at part one of the church at Laodicea, the lukewarm church.

Don't go away. You are tuned in to the God First program. You are listening to Brian C. Thomas on God First. For more of Brian's teachings, please visit to browse our extensive library of material. There you will find devotionals, blogs, articles and audio messages available as MP3 downloads on various topics such as salvation, Bible prophecy, marriage and the significance of Lesson Israel.

Just to name a few. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter and visit our Web store. So please visit us at Now, let's return to the conclusion of today's message. Welcome back to the God First program. My name is Brian Thomas, and we today are looking at the apostate church, also known as the lukewarm church, the church at Laodicea.

So let's pick up where we left off with verse 16, in which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is continuing with a condemnation to this church at Laodicea. Yes, in Revelation three, verse 16, the Bible says, So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. You know, there are certain foods, when you think about that, they are good, cold or hot.

And some of the ones that come to mind is shrimp. You know, you have shrimp cocktail, which you can eat that cold. I don't prefer it. I prefer hot.

You know me from our years of marriage. I like majority of my food. I like it hot, hot, piping hot. I want it right out of the oven, right out of the microwave.

I don't want it to cool off at all. And also, I think about when you think about milk in the sense that, you know, hot chocolate, you can have it hot. But then if you have milk can be cold and that's good. But but foods, most food are not good lukewarm. You know, it just doesn't taste right. And when I think about like water, lukewarm water is not good to me.

It's almost like it chokes me, like I can't swallow it. And so Jesus is saying that you need to be the hot or cold. You know, you don't want anything lukewarm.

What about a bowl of ice cream of that's lukewarm? That's not going to be good. And so Jesus Christ is saying here that there are those who claim to be of him churches that he is, but they're not really of him because they're neither cold nor hot.

They're just there. He's saying that he will spit these churches from his mouth. He will vomit these churches from his mouth.

Those are very strong words, very strong words. And I think it's meant to let us know just how disgusted he is with wishy washy Christians. And I know that Jesus has a certain purpose for the church. And so he has no use for a church that's not fulfilling its proper purpose. He wants our full allegiance to him and he wants us like how you like your food straight out of my way. He wants us boiling hot for him. And so we as a church, you know, we have to make sure that, you know, you you seek your purpose, you manage your gifts well and serve wholeheartedly in your church.

And then that starts at the top in leadership on down. And as an individual, he wants the same as well for you to manage your gifts, be about your father's business and and work is unto the Lord and everything that you do. And so, of course, there's more condemnation, unfortunately. Revelation three, verse 17. And the Bible says, because you say I am rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing. And do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Yeah, I tell you, Jesus is really giving it to this church.

I mean, he's calling them out. And a lot of people today would say, if you say things like that, that you're not being loving, you're not being kind. But of course, we know Jesus is all love. He's he's all compassion. He's all goodness. But he's true.

That's right. He's speaking the truth. And let me say this before we go further that we don't consider ourselves to be the church police.

We are not here to go around calling out churches that are doing wrong. We all have flaws. We as human beings, we'll fall in centers. We all make mistakes. We all have shortcomings. We're all to be striving to improve on those things. But we're just simply telling what Jesus has already said. He's calling out these churches and we're just sharing with you all what Jesus has already said. So we don't want to paint the picture that we are the church police.

I feel like we have a calling to go around and point out the fault in all churches. But there are just a lot of people in churches that have deceived themselves. And in a lot of churches now are like, you know, just sitting on all of this money and all of this wealth. And they think that they have all of these great things because they look around and they say, look at this great church that we've built.

Look at what we've done. But material wealth does not equal spiritual wealth. And you can just look at celebrities in Hollywood and look at how many of them have fame. They have fortune. But how their lives in tragically through suicides and through drug overdoses, because those things are not going to fulfill only Jesus Christ can fulfill what it is that we are longing for. And so as we as we look at this church, they don't realize their poverty stricken spiritual state.

And only God, only the spirit of God can transform us. And it's so important when we look at churches that we don't get caught up in how beautiful a church looks and how their wealth and all of these things. But it's so important that we look at the words to see, does this church glorify man or is it glorifying God? There are so many churches that today that they don't want to offend anyone. They don't want to speak out against abortion. They don't want to stand for God. They don't want to speak up against this anti-Christian Marxist movement. Black Lives Matter. They don't want to speak out against anything because they want to to be in the end crowd.

They want everybody to know, hey, that's the good church over there that loves everybody. You know, Barack Obama, he stated it recently. He stated throughout his presidency, love wins. And so, you know, they seem to think like, well, if you love, you're going to let people do what they want to do. And that's not what love truly is, because people doing what they want to do will send them to eternal damnation.

Love tells people to stop living that way because it's going to lead to your destruction. And it's a good time to remind ourselves of what Matthew Chapter seven versus twenty two through twenty three says. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name cast out devils and in thy name done many wonderful works. And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you depart from me, ye that were iniquity. These are people that are in the church that are there serving, singing in the choir, deacon board, even in the pulpits, preaching. And Jesus is going to say, depart.

I never knew you. Yes, because all deception is evil, but self deception is probably the worst. And when we look back in this verse, it says it calls he calls the people of Laodicea. Wretched, miserable. And so, you know, this is like if you're going out looking for lessons on positive thinking, books on peace and prosperity and money, we still, you know, it will still leave a man wretched if they don't have Jesus Christ.

Right. So without Jesus, none of that, none of those things matter. And then when he says poor for in Marx, Mark eight versus verse thirty six, it says, for what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? And then he calls them blind. So like some people, you know, they can be all sophisticated. You know, they were wealthy in Laodicea and they sought a lot of not a lot of knowledge. And so they were educated, probably, but they were unable to see with all their knowledge. They were unable to see the ways of God.

So and then he also says that they were naked. And so they were not clothed with the righteousness of Christ. They may have had on the nicest suits. I know they didn't wear suits in the nicest tunic or whatever they wore back then. The nice sandals and everything. But even like if we look today, you know, you can have the nicest suit.

You can have the best church hat or whatever it is that, you know, the nice jewelry and things. But if you're not clothed with righteousness of Christ, then it doesn't matter. Right. And so when we look back and we talk about Jesus's character, how it says he's the truth and he's going to speak the truth. And so in these words that he said when he called them wretched and miserable, poor, blind and naked, he was exposing the truth of who the Laodiceans were.

Right. And so I think that some people get to the point that they feel like they don't need anything or anybody. And their self-sufficiency leads to complacency and pride. And we all know God hates pride.

He hates it. And some just become spiritually impoverished and religion rich. And that's a shame because when you're spiritually impoverished and then you don't acknowledge your dependence upon God, which he tells us to do in his word, we have to acknowledge that we are completely and utterly dependent upon him. Then you become more prone to sin if you don't acknowledge that you're more prone to sin and you're misdirected. And you can easily sway, especially today, you see the media, mainstream media, they spew these lies. And people don't have the spiritual discernment to understand and know that those are not truthful things or that to know that these are sinful things.

I should not follow that. And so they they get misdirected. And then this because the reason this happens is because they cannot connect to the Holy Spirit. When you are not acknowledging your dependence upon God and you're spiritually impoverished, the Holy Spirit, you can't you don't have that bridge. If you don't have Jesus Christ, you don't have that bridge to connect with the Lord. And so when you cannot connect with the Holy Spirit, you cannot hear the voice of God. And when you cannot hear his voice, you're lost.

And you have is like you have an empty life. Yeah. Mm hmm.

Yeah. So we're going to wrap this up and put a bow on it as we have looked at the first part of this church at Laodicea. And we're going to come back next week with part two to to conclude looking at it. But for part one, the thing I want to to take away from it is we as individuals and as churches, and even when I look at our nation, we have a problem with pride. And when we become wealthy, God has been so good to us and he's blessed us in so many ways. But human nature, we have a tendency to start to drift away from God. The more we are blessed, the more we get money, we tend to start what worshiping our bank account.

We start looking at our bank account as our source. And when you're in good health, you don't tend to look to God. And there are times in which God will start to allowing hardships to come into your life so that you will turn back to him. Because unfortunately, some people just can't handle the blessings. And I say that to say for churches that as we look around today with this covid-19, look at how churches are empty. And I can't help but wonder, is God trying to send the message that your your big, beautiful, wealthy churches are nothing?

They mean absolutely nothing to me, your buildings, because the true church are people. You know, it's us as human beings. And he's sort of taken all of that away. And it's caused people to to step back and say, what is more important?

What are the right things that we need to be focusing on? And people have started to look back to God. So God will cause sometimes adversities to come so that you will turn back to him. And we we saw that throughout the Old Testament with the nation of Israel. And it happens today as individuals, it happens to us as churches as well. But we're going to come back next week and we are going to conclude with the seven churches by continuing to look at the apostate church, the church at Laodicea. And we're giving this church a little bit more time than the others, because this is the church that our Lord said is the worst of the worst. And this is the church that we see in our dominant culture today. And it's the church that is going to be in place, the great falling away that will take place just before our Lord's second coming. So before we close, do you have any final words concerning this church at Laodicea? Well, I think that people should definitely look to it and examine yourself as an individual, but also examine your church if you need to. And most importantly, I think that, you know, see if you feel like you're spiritually impoverished.

I think it's important to look at yourself and say, am I totally giving of myself to the Lord? Am I spending time with him so that I can have a relationship with him? Because if you don't know him through having a relationship with him, you're missing out, first of all. But also you're missing that connection. They know the word tells us that we have to be connected to the vine. And if you're not connected, then the Holy Spirit cannot lead you and guide you. It cannot he cannot give you the spiritual discernment, the godly wisdom and discernment that we all need today to be able to even know if we're in that lukewarm, that gray area.

We need to be boiling hot for the Lord. And if you just have never even known about Jesus, you've never wanted to accept him. I pray that you will anybody that's feeling like that, that you will search your heart and that you will give him a try. And I guarantee you that your life will be changed. And I just pray it is my prayer that if anyone is listening and does not know Jesus Christ as their savior, that you will please give your heart to the Lord.

Give it to him today because he will return soon. And I just my prayer is that you will honor honor that and give yourself to him and truly allow him to change your life. And that's that's my prayer. I want salvation for people. I don't want people to be lost.

All right. So Jesus is coming again. Jesus is the answer.

Jesus is the way he's coming soon. So let's get excited about our Lord's return as we close. I want to encourage you to remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel and to the only wise God be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Amen.

You've been listening to the Bible teacher. Brian C. Thomas, founder and president of God First. Brian and God first reserve all copyright protection under applicable law. Our copyright policy is available at our website, God first dot org. Until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel and seek first the kingdom of God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-17 03:44:10 / 2024-03-17 03:55:54 / 12

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