wp-image-1166965051jpg.jpgLukewarm Lover

Lukewarm love is the complaint God levels against the church at Laodicea. Laodicea is said to be rich and complacent. In their wealth, they have forgotten the poor. The Christian community at Laodicea is one of seven churches that a vision of God was shared through a prophecy given directly to John the divine while imprisoned for his faith on the prison island, Patmos. John is the only one of the original disciples who did not die a violent death. Judas committed suicide. All of the others were tortured and killed. The other churches in the vision are Sardis, Smyrna, Thyatira Pergamum, Philadelphia and Ephesus.

Revelations 3: 14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation:

15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent[1]

 

I want to talk for a minute about the image of the church at Laodicea as being lukewarm. The complaint of God is that the church is neither hot or cold and that God would prefer passion in one direction or another.

 

Passion brings with it a certain virtue. Passion is not always right, but to express true feeling and emotion is a good thing. Some people are so plastic, so evasive, so concerned with not upsetting other folk that the words of their mouth are often meaningless, useless and empty.

 

The church at Laodicea is a church full of good people, but they have become watered down, outwardly faithful, but inwardly unwilling to live and express their faith.

 

You and I must be careful not to become lukewarm in our love. Like the church at Laodicea, we all run the risk of assuming lives that refuse to stand up for truth, justice and equality. The church at Laodicea had forgotten the poor. You and I must be diligent that we do not forget the poor.

 

In our personal relationships we must strive to be people of passion and feeling, and not constrained in our attempts to live lives that are functional, “correct”, and boring. Laodicea was not a bad church, but rather a church that was doing well, but disconnected from the mission of Christ.

 

Revelation 3: 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” [2]

 

 

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What are the modern similarities between the attitude of God towards Laodicea and the contemporary church?
  2. What is God’s problem with the prosperity of Laodicea?

 

Prayer: Lord, draw me closer to you. Without you I am poor, blind and naked. Teach me to use the resources you have made available to me to grant me much more than a simple comfortable state of life. Lord, remind me to do my part to eliminate poverty, hunger and to establish a sustainable world. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the Ministry, Mission, Prayers, Photos and Publications by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Re 3:14–19). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Re 3:20–22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.