Laodicea’s Problem

“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:” Revelation 3:17

The sin of Laodicea was more than just inactivity. This church was not only idle in their service to God, but they were also willingly blind and obstinate to their problems. This is evident in Christ’s words, “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” (Revelation 3:17). What they thought of themselves was vastly different than the reality of the situation. This is very similar to the church at Sardis who had a name that they lived but were dead (Revelation 3:1). This is understandable to some degree. There is often a disconnect between your ego, your reputation, and your actual character.

With that said, the disconnect at Laodicea was going to bring about their destruction as a collective church. This willful obstinance was so offensively disgusting to Jesus that he said he would spew, or vomit them, out of his mouth. The question we all should ask ourselves is “am I blind to the real me?” This question is both for the individual and collective assembly.

When asking this question we should first bury our attention in the word of God (Revelation 3:18). This is the gold tried in fire that Christ counsels us to buy. The word of God applied hides our nakedness and, when viewed objectively, allows our spiritual eyes to see more clearly.

Christ finishes with a beautiful promise at the end of this sobering rebuke. He tells every believing individual that he is ever present (standing at the door) waiting to commune with them (Revelation 3:20). This isn’t an invitation for life to the dead, but instead, it is an invitation for fellowship to the living. Point being, even if your local assembly doesn’t fully become aware of the problems facing them, God still promises to bless you in the mist of an obstinate, unspiritual congregation. So remember, you can only control your own actions and awareness. Yes, we are to call people to repentance. We shouldn’t act lackadaisical to the problems. We should work together in acknowledging the issues that face us. But remember that you are only accountable for yourself. We cannot blame the ministry or congregation for our personal spiritual dearth. Christ promises intimacy to the individual.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Finally, is your self identity (ego) the same as the reality of your character? Would you know, or even admit if it wasn’t?

“Spend prayerful time examining your personal life for evidences of pride that hinders your needed repentance. Then take a look at the possibility of similar cultural pride in your church that impairs the whole organization’s ability to relieve sin-sick sinners of their burdens. How will you face these problems from this day forward? Let the healing begin!” -Jospeh Holder

Originally posted at December 2017

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