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What Makes The Church At Laodicea Lukewarm?

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by TalkJesus, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. What could make a church today like the Laodiceans as being lukewarm?

    Revelation 3:17 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:

    Is it this below?

    Proverbs 30:7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

    We know that being rich is not a sin because there is such a thing as rich believers, but can this charge be also given to churches?

    1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

    So is a church being lukewarm that rests on members' duty to tithe and to keep their pledges of giving to run on rather than on God to provide by raising up cheerful givers?

    If God frowned on King Saul for taking a count on the number of men in the armies, would a budget report on the expected tithes and pledges of givings from all the members in the church is like saying, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing."?

    What did God say about planning for tomorrow with a budget?

    James 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
    How many churches say "If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.." in regards to their budgetting thus showing their dependence on God?

    Or is there different offense that is being addressed here and thus another way for the church at Laodicea to repent that today churches need to be mindful of?
  2. Deuteronomy 31:16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? 18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. 19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. 20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. 21 And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.

    James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

    Romans 10:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    Mark 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  3. A poor, 3rd world church in a tin shack can be just as Laodicea as a gilded cathedral's congregation.

    I don't think the Word is speaking of riches as in money, per se, but spirit.

    The closed mind, the satisfied denominational "stance", the churlish retorts to "others"....I think this is what is more in keeping with the intent of the Lord's rebuke.
  4. We see a progression of apostasy in the letters to the seven churches. It begins with Ephesus and ends with Laodicea. The beginning is a loss of love for the Lord Jesus Christ, and the end of it is the church as an outward organization being spewed from Christ's mouth. Lose your love for the Lord, and you are on the path to Laodicea. Notice the downward progression among the churches.

    1.) Loss of love - Ephesus
    2.) Marriage to the world (Pergamos=married)
    3.) False doctrine - Rev. 2:14
    4.) False Teachers - 'Jezebel'
    5.) Spiritual Death - Rev. 3:1
    6.) Spewed from Christ's mouth - Rev. 3:16

    This pattern can regularly be found in the history if the Christian Church. It happens to congregations, denominations, and it can happen to individuals.

    The greatest struggle in any relationship can be to maintain one's feelings after the 'new' wears off. Notice what the Bride says to the groom in Song 1:2,

    'Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.'

    Yet, a little later notice how the Bride's attitude has changed. The groom is at her door desiring entrance in the night. Song 5:2,3,

    'I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.
    I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?'

    Notice how her love failed. Before, she could not get enough of his kisses; now she will not get her feet dirty for him!

    Love often fades in relationships when the Bride see the faults of the groom that she did not see during the courtship. Yet, there are no faults in our Bridegroom! When we fail in our love for him, the fault is entirely ours!

    Love for Christ before all else is the only way Laodicea can be avoided.
  5. Mr. Darby: But....The Song of Solomon is purely allegorical, filled with metaphors and types!

    You claimed to be a literalist in other threads, or so it seemed...Can't you see how this is a confusing position, to teach one thing and then just the opposite?
  6. Rusty, I believe the song of Solomon is a literally true book that features lovers using the language of love. I drew a lesson about love for Christ from the relationship of these two lovers. Perhaps you could use some lessons on loving those with whom you disagree.
  7. Perhaps you assume I do not love because I question your positions. That is a sad attitude to take. Do you think that your advice is "loving"?

    Do only those that agree with you love you, in your eyes?

    As to the Song of Solomon: you used it allegorically, whether it is a real story (I would like you to prove that) or what it is....a type/ anti-type lesson that even you applied to the Church.... To me, nothing in the Bible is without moral purpose, and the Song of Solomon, read without this allegorical lesson, is just a love story. Of doubtful worth if that is all it is. If you look at it literally, the word's "God" and "Lord" are not even there.

    Orthodox Jewish rabbi's never teach from it due to it's perceived soft pornographic depictions.
  8. TalkJesus: Does this post mesh with what your OP is about?

    Sorry...I did not cap anything, the quoting just makes it that way...out of my control.
  9. Rust, Post #12 confuses me (actually the whole thread is confusing.) Can anyone explain in plain language, sans quotes what they heck you all mean?
  10. I think TalkJesus was seeking 'reasons' why a church would be considered 'lukewarm' in God's eyes...

    He seemed to be relating his point to wealth> AKA: Money (mammon?)
  11. Yes, Silk...it is all mangled up:

    My point is that the Laodicean message (see OP) is not merely about wealthy Christians, but about the religiously self-sufficient heart.
    I am "rich, in need of nothing" is what I think Christ is warning us against in the Rev. letter to the historical church. Transfer that warning to the world-wide church today and the moral lesson is there.

    This is in direct contrast to this, IMO:

  12. Thank you Rusty and Dirty! Was the Laodicea church wealthy, money wise? Even if they were I don't see how that causes lukewarm - so it would have to be that they were not all on the same spiritual bus as Paul?
    Rusty likes this.
  13. Yes: it was a wealthy trading port, BUT I don't think that was the cause of their heart problems.
    A wealthy person is just as capable of being a "warm to on fire "Christian as a poor one.
    I've met plenty of lukewarm poor Christians as well as wealthy ones....
  14. I am of the opinion that 'lukewarm' could almost be described as borderline hypocrisy.....
    Rusty likes this.
  15. Agreed..perhaps more than borderline....Nowhere else does Christ want to "spew them out of His mouth", a very figuritve phrase that is like a tepid glass of water on a very hot day....not appealing.
    Dirtyrottensinner likes this.
  16. Yes, and we see how he approached the Jewish authority in the temple-the defunct 'light under a bushel'.
  17. Yup....BUT the important part of this topic deals with the symbolism (highly important symbolism) of the next verse:

    What do you all think Jesus is talking about in such a symbolic way?
  18. I would have to say it would appear to be 'figurative language' about the riches of spiritual things....

    which can only be 'purchased' from Christ.
    Silk likes this.
  19. Right .....but I see in the Bible that the mention of "figurative" things must have other mentions, so we are not left clueless or guessing..

    I'll show the first one "gold tried in the fire" and let others see if they can explain the other two...

    Once I was in Perth at the Mint, where they showed our tour group how they tried (purified) raw gold to make into ingots...They fired it at very high heat ( a heat that would purge it from tin, zinc and other flimsy metals) until it became liquid....BUT, and this was a revelation to me, they had to fire it 7 times to ride it of all impurities.

    The gold smelter had to be able to see his face perfectly in the crucible of melt gold on the 7th trying and then he knew it was pure.

    This is the same with us and Jesus.
    Silk likes this.
  20. So what number are we on? :D

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