Laodicea and Its End

Revelation 3:15‑16  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of My mouth." Rev. 3:15, 1615I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15‑16).
The condition depicted here, and which brings unconditional judgment, is that of the hollow profession of Christ's name and service without there being anything really from Him or for Him. Benevolence and service to man-works of this kind there are plenty, done too in His name, and with the claim of being the Church of God, but really without there being anything that is for God's glory.
Thus indifference to God's claims, honor, and truth, with no sense of Christ's love or attachment to Him, characterize the last phase of the professing church. It is Latitudinarianism of the worst kind, where what is held and taught is no matter so long as people are religious, moral, respectable, and where ritualism, evangelicalism, and rationalism are peaceably combined to form the Church-not Jews or heathens, but Christians by profession. He abhors such a state. It is like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold; He will spew it out of His mouth as nauseous to Him-a thing not worth special judgment at His hand. Even the bold and blasphemous Jezebel in Thyatira was more tolerable to Him; He would judge her.
With this utter indifference to Christ and His claims, though with the empty profession of devotedness to Him and His service, there is much pretension and ostentatious parade of resources and competency in themselves that have not Him for their source. Therefore He says, "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
Worldly possessions, human righteousness, and human wisdom and knowledge are possessed in abundance, with no sense of need of any kind, but nothing properly Christian, nothing of the new creation, nothing suited to God, nothing that will stand the test of divine judgment or last for eternity; hence He addresses them in terms that apply only to the unconverted and unsaved. "Wretched, and miserable, and poor," they needed divine righteousness, that which can stand the fire of divine trial, that which Christ Himself is, who was made sin "that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." For this, "gold tried in the fire," they must come to Him, and for it they might well exchange some of their boasted wealth so as to be "rich toward God." He says, "buy of Me," for the very first principle of the gospel is unknown to them, and He takes them on their own ground, like the foolish virgins of Matt. 25 who go to "buy" and return to find the door of grace closed.
"Naked" in God's sight, whatever they were in their own, they required "white raiment," and for this too they must come to Him who alone could communicate to them a life which, in its expression of living and practical righteousness flowing out of His being in them, should so clothe them that, manifested as those that "have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb," the "shame" of their "nakedness" should not appear.
"Blind," they stood in need of "eyesalve" that no mere human apothecary could supply, and from Himself alone could they get that "unction of the Holy One," the teaching of the Holy Ghost which would give them divine intelligence, for as yet they saw nothing that was of God in a new creation, and required to be born again even to "see the kingdom of God," not to speak of entering into it and having part with Him there.
Such generally is the internal state of those who compose the church of Laodicea. In the main, they are Christless souls. Still, He lingers over them in grace, while an already pronounced judgment waits its accomplishment. Most solemn moment in the Church's history!—mercy's last pause before all is over.
[To the few who had life He says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." He does not address the whole, but offers individual communion to those who would open
to Him.]