Cold or Hot, Both RefreshingBro. David Chancellor
12/28/2008 11:00 AM
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 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 spue thee out of my mouth. 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;" This is written to the ministry of the church at Laodecia. The church is about ministry, so it applies to every one of us. Christ is the Amen. He came and brought God down to man. He came and represented God to man. Jesus is where God’s church came from. He represents God accurately to mankind and founded God’s church.
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot." Cold or hot? Some people prefer cold tea, and some people prefer hot tea. Either way, it’s refreshing, but lukewarm tea just sounds disgusting. People think this verse means we need to be hot.
As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
A faithful messenger is refreshing. An unfaithful messenger is disgusting. Jesus told the Laodecian church they were disgusting because they were unfaithful. God isn’t impressed by unfaithfulness. Godliness isn’t about noise and emotionalism or knowledge. There is an attitude with some that knowledge is light. The attitude in Revelations 3:17a is the attitude of the Pharisee in Luke 18:10-14. It is an attitude of self-righteousness. People need to look in God’s word and see themselves as God sees them. The faithful witness showed us how things out to be. Many people have knowledge but don’t have God. Others focus on the knowledge of those that came before and still miss out on God. Because the Laodiceans had that approach, God had some counsel for them. Get an experience in your heart that can take the tests of life. You need purity of heart. Without purity of heart, you won’t have purity of life. Distressing times of life require more than just religion. What portends to be Christianity today is in a shameful state. This is because many haven’t been faithful messengers. The world needs to see God at work in the lives of his people. Many think they can see because of the doctrines they hold, but they lack the virtues and graces of God. Peter says without these, you’re blind. Without them, knowledge can’t produce what matters. Paul said knowledge puffs up but love edifies. The best knowledge you can have is to know how much you don’t know. It will keep you humble, and help you not to act on what you don’t know. The most important thing to know is Christ and him crucified. Paul counted everything else loss so that he could know Jesus and the power of his resurrection. That’s what he considered important.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and ground in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Paul wanted them to know the fullness of God. He wanted them to know the love of Christ. The cure for blindness is the Holy Spirit. God wants a faithful witness.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
The counsel was given so that they could change. The answer is in verse 20. To be a faithful messenger of Christ, we need to sup with Christ. We need to spend time with Jesus. The real problem today is that people aren’t spending time with Jesus. Which are you promoting, a church or a Savior? Get connected to Jesus and be a faithful messenger for him. He’s where true riches are found. Lay up treasure in heaven. The faithful messenger will tell you about Jesus. The message to the Laodecian church wasn’t about emotionalism, but about being faithful messengers for Jesus Christ. We’re here as messengers of Jesus. We want to be refreshing, not disgusting. The only way to know Jesus is to spend time with him. Be a faithful messenger of Jesus Christ. People need a taste of something refreshing. They need to hear the message of Jesus Christ. Be the refreshing messenger who lifts up Christ in a true and faithful way.