To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth, and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”—Revelation 3:14-22
Why was the Laodicean church lukewarm?
Stop and think about it for a minute and see what you come up with.
They were lukewarm because they were apathetic. They didn’t care. And why didn’t they care? Because, deep inside, Jesus was irrelevant to them. Oh, on the surface, they seemed like devoted followers of Jesus. But, deep inside, they didn’t need Him.
Why? Because they were able to do it all on their own with a little “help from God.” They saw themselves as spiritually wealthy and not needing a thing. They had forgotten the beatitude which reads, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
In great pity, Jesus looks on our destitute condition. He sees that we are wretched and needy. He knows that we are poor; our spiritual accomplishments have no eternal value. He knows when we are blind—when we are theologically muscular, but spiritually blind. And He understands that just like in the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes, we may think we’re covered, when we’re not.
At first glance, this seems like an assault, an affront, a slap in the face. It is an insult to all that we have accomplished for God.
But we must not take it that way. For it is a great comfort that God sees us as we really are. He sees us and He still loves us. He sees us and He still designs to spend eternity with us.
Because He sees us we can stop hiding. We can come out into the light. We can throw ourselves to the mercy of God.
PS. Can we trust our feelings? What role does emotion play in our faith? Does God care how we feel? What are our feelings good for? We’ll be addressing these questions and more on 8/3/2019 in Inner Wealth.