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Revelation 3:14-21

Revelation 3:14-21

Categories:

Sermon: Lukewarm Christians
Bible Passage: Revelation 3:14-21

I. About the City of Laodicea

1. Main banking center because of its location on the Anatolian highway—Ephesus to Syria
2. Textile industry—mass production of soft, purplish-black wool, and wool garments
3. Eye hospital

a. The famous ophthalmologist, Demosthenes Philalethes, practiced medicine
b. It was known for eye treatment called Phrygian powder, called eye salves or kollyria

II. Jesus introduces Himself as “Amen”—the One who is utterly reliable, the One from the beginning of the world (verse 14)

III. Jesus points out three issues with the Church at Laodicea (verses 15-17)

1. They were “neither cold nor hot”

a. Lack of spiritual fervor—indifference/mediocre
b. Half-hearted commitment to Christ
c. Compromised lifestyle

2. There was nothing in their Christian faith that Jesus was excited about—“I know your work” (verse 15)

a. They probably knew all essential doctrines
b. But the truth did not affect them behaviorally
c. They were ineffective in their witnessing

3. They had an incorrect assessment of themselves (verse 17)—“you do not realize”

a. “I am rich; I have acquired wealth, and I do not need anything” (cf. Hos 12:8 vs. verse 17)
b. They probably equated their material prosperity to their spiritual wellbeing!
c. Most likely they compromised their faith for economic benefits—bank, clothing, and medicine

IV. Jesus’ assessment of the Laodicean Christians (verse 17-18)

1. “You are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked” (verse 17)
2. They were opposite of what they perceived about themselves

a. They were poor (verse 18)
b. They were naked (verse 18)
c. They were blind (verse 18)

3. If the Laodicean Christians do not change, Jesus would “spew them out,”

V. Jesus prescribes a remedy for their issues (verse 18): “buy from me”

1. “Gold refined in the fire” (verse 18)
2. “White clothes to wear” (verse 18)
3. “Eye salve” (verse 18)
4. They need to become zealous for the Gospel
5. They need to repent from their incorrect assessments (verse 19)

VI. Jesus is offering them a chance to renew their fellowship with Him (verse 20-21)

1. “Behold, I stand at the door and am knocking” does not have an evangelistic significance
2. It is a chance for the “neither hot nor cold” Christian believers to renew their fellowship with Him by letting Jesus re-enter into their lives
3. Jesus promises complete restoration to the one who let’s Jesus in!
4. Jesus promises the Laodicean Christians an honorable seat along with Him when they overcome (verse 21)

Take Away:

Open the doorknob and let Jesus come in to restore you from your lukewarmness

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org