I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would that thou wert cold or hot (Rev. 3:15; read vv. 14–22).
In the district around Laodicea are mineral springs. As long as the water is boiling you can somehow drink it, but if tepid it is of all things most nauseating. Our Lord uses these springs as a background for the only one of the seven churches for which he has no word of commendation or encouragement.
I. Indifferent to God. There is about some churches a “goodishness” that passes for Christianity. A sort of civic betterment program, with “pay your debts, love your mother, and don’t kill anybody,” a maudlin sentimentality supposed to be Christianity. It makes God sick. Indifferent to doctrine about God, to commitment, to devotion. We are enthusiastic about everything else, even a touchdown in the Cotton Bowl. But when it comes to Christ and the Church, there is no zeal. You don’t have religion without zeal. Christianity is a fire in the bones, a moving in the soul, a stirring of the heart, a vast illimitable commitment of life to God.
II. Deceived about Self. They said: “We are rich. We have need of nothing.” Christ said: “You are poor, naked, blind.” In proportion to their lukewarmness they were filled with self-satisfaction. “We don’t need God. We don’t need to pray, or repent.” That is humanism. I don’t know of a commoner attitude in the world today. “All we need is to set our scientists to work, get the energies of our great people hitched up to these great programs, and we can work out these things ourselves!” That is the Laodicean church.
III. Exclusive of Christ. Outside the Laodicean church is Christ, knocking. He has been gone a long time. The centuries have watched the progress and the regress of his ...1
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