Revelation: Church of Laodicea, You’re Spiritually Useless | June 8, 2023
A lukewarm bath, a lukewarm cup of coffee, a lukewarm glass of milk … These are not a few of Julie Andrews’s (Maria’s) favorite things. And rightly so. Sound of Music, anyone? Think of your own experiences with drinking something you expected to be hot and enjoyable or cold and refreshing but instead, it was tepid. Shudder. Maybe you, too, spit it out.
Lukewarm also means half-hearted; lacking conviction. Other Bible translations say stale, stagnant, spiritually useless.
What is Jesus’ concern about the church in Laodicea? From the verses below, what part of their culture has crept into the church and made them spiritually useless?
Revelation 3:15-17 ESV
15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
15-17 “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
How does the story of the Rich Young Ruler relate to this church?
Matthew 19:16-22 ESV
16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
How could our self-sufficiency and material wealth keep us spiritually useless? Ask the Lord to reveal places in your life where you rely on your own strength instead of Him.