A Geography Lesson
"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 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-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." -Revelation 3:15-18, emphasis added
This is the heartbeat of the letter to the Laodicean assembly-Christ's admonition, or accusation: "You are lukewarm; you needed nothing, so I will spit you out!" What an incredible contrast to His "Well done!"
A Spiritual Lesson from Geography: The setting was graphic. Colosse (the destination of the letter to the Colossians), which was known for pure, cold, crystal clear waters that spring up, was six miles away. Hierapolis, with its hot springs steaming up from the ground, was also close at hand. Because there was no water available in Laodicea, they built an aqueduct from Colosse, but by the time their water traveled six miles it was never cold, only lukewarm. Hence the apt description Jesus gave to this church in Revelation 3:15-18above.
Christ wanted the Laodiceans to either be like a cold drink that refreshes or like a hot bath that cleanses and renews. But they were not to compromise by striving to live between both worlds-and hence become uselessly lukewarm.
A Spiritual Warning from Jesus: Here is an insight to ponder: perhaps the borrowed, lukewarm, secondhand water was a portrait of borrowed, secondhand Christianity. They were not getting the water themselves out of the Rock; they relied on others. Secondhand Christianity is a curse.
Do you drink daily of Christ's living water? Or does someone have to give you a bottle? Do you feed on the manna of God's Word? Or does someone have to spoon-feed you? Is your experience of the transforming divine power in salvation secondhand or personal? Watch out if your salvation is not zestfully and hotly and personally yours. If you do not repent, Christ will have to chasten you even to the point of weakness, sickness, or death (see 1 Corinthians 11:30).
That was Christ's appeal to the Laodiceans, which showed the heartbeat of His love. The lesson: He does not immediately write us off; He always pleads with us.
How incredibly Christ loves! If you are a Laodicean Christian, He is calling out to you as well: "Come back to Me. I love you!"
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