“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” – Rev 15-16
The fact that this is a letter to the church in Laodicea suggests that this is for followers of Christ. But it seems that at some point they have lost the passion they once had for Christ and have become complacent and apathetic in their faith.
The other problem is that they apparently don’t even realize that there is anything wrong.
“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” – Rev 17
This seems to be describing people who thought they were spiritual millionaires, but who were actually living in spiritual poverty. It is a warning or a wake-up call for people who didn’t even realize that they needed to be woken up. For whatever reason at some point their passion for Christ was gone and they had become lukewarm even though they thought they were doing just fine.
And then Christ gives them some counsel about what to do in verses 18-19:
“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” – Rev 18
They need to recognize that Christ is everything for them. Only he can wash them clean and clothe them in righteousness. Only he can open their eyes that they can see. And what he gives, he gives for free. They don’t earn it, or deserve it. They need to remember the treasure that is Christ and how much they need him.
And then we arrive at a very well-known verse:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” – Rev. 20
This verse points out the relational aspect of Christianity. It speaks of fellowship with the Lord. He is not a travelling salesman who knocks on our door to sell us something and then goes on his way, but rather one who comes in and establishes residence with us. Christianity is a relationship with Christ.
This is a wonderful passage. But it should cause us to pause and consider ourselves. This is a wakeup call for the church in Laodicea. Let’s ask ourselves a few questions:
- Is this a wakeup call for us?
- If we were to get a letter written to us, from Christ, what might it say?
- Do we find ourselves reflected in this rebuke?
- Have we grown complacent in our relationship with Christ?
- Are we lukewarm? And if so, what are we going to do about it?