Weekly Devotional 6-21-21
Reinvigoration of the Luke-Warm Church
In Revelation 1:4-17 we find Jesus walking in the midst of seven known churches (assemblages of Believers) of the Apostle John’s day. As He walked among these seven churches, He brought to their attention things that needed to be addressed in five of the seven churches. In that the issues represented in these five churches are representative of the entire church down through the centuries, the issues that was true of them are true of the church today. The issues of the last church are addressed by verses 14-19 of chapter 3 and are representative of much of Christendom today.
From these verses we read: “14 And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked– 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”
Jesus saw the congregants of this church as being complacent, of having lost their zeal. Worse, He saw that they believed that because they were financially healthy, they were being blessed by Him. They had lost sight that true wealth lay in commitment too, and worship of Him.
A question arises, how did they come to be so complacent? The answer is found in four of the other seven churches. Many of congregants of these four churches had lost their first love, tolerated false teachers, tolerated sexual immorality, and would not judge sin in their midst. Any one of these things may cause complacency but any commination of these things certainly would. There were many true believers in this congregations but there were also non-believers and when the imbalance grew so did the complacency. This all started when the true believers began losing their love for Jesus (Rev. 2:1-4). They had come to love the institution and programs of the church more than Him. In the church of Laodicea we find that this departure from loving Jesus culminated in Him being outside of church knocking on the door wanting back in (Rev. 3:20). This decline has continued through these many centuries and is prevalent today in much of the church. However there has been and is a remnant that has remained faithful and true to the Lord, loving Him as when they first met Him. Will this continue or will complacency over-take them? Will this complacency overtake you? Will complacency overtake me?
Complacency does not need to be the order of the day, it can be avoided, but not without commitment. A commitment that our pastors and teachers are to challenge us with. Pastors and teachers who do not challenge us thusly are falling short of their calling and they will be held responsible for their unfaithfulness. But each of us (every child of God) must also work at not becoming complacent. Consider the words of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians.
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:1-17).
If you and I work at these things with great intensity we will not have time to become complacent.