Living in Laodicea—The Church, Part 7b

A couple things stand out in the verses John wrote about the church in Laodicea. One is that he didn’t commend them about anything. In contrast, he commended the church in Ephesus because they could not endure evil men, uncovered false teachers, had perseverance, endured, did not grow weary.

Believers in Pergamum were recognized as those who hold fast to Christ’s name and did not deny their faith.

The Thyatiran church was praised for their love and faith and service and perseverance and that their deeds of late were greater than at first.

You get the drift. But when he comes to Laodicea, much as he did when he addressed Sardis, he gets right to the problems.

Which brings a second observation. The real problem of the Laodicean church was a lack of spiritual discernment. They thought they were rich, wealthy, in need of nothing. Why? Because their focus was on the externals. They didn’t know they were actually miserable.

How can someone not know when they’re miserable? When they live in denial or in a state of medicated insulation from reality. Or when they haven’t got a clue what Not Miserable felt like.

Niggling at the back of my mind has been the idea that the current economic downturn might actually be an answer to prayer for revival in our land. In tough economic times, it seems like more people are willing to face the fact that they are, in truth, miserable.

Of course, the next step needs to be the realization that misery doesn’t come because of economic troubles.

Which reminds me of an interesting program I saw for the first time last night. It’s called something like Secret Millionaire. The premise is that a true moneyed person or couple moves into a poor community, with only the funds equivalent to what someone on welfare would have. They spend the time getting to know people, then at the end of the designated time, they go back and give generously to those they wish to encourage.

The thing is, the husband in last night’s show was in tears at the end as he admitted that he thought he would change the lives of the people he could give money to, but instead their love and commitment to helping others, with no remuneration, changed him.

In essence, he realized that, despite his wealth, he was miserable, and they, despite their poverty, were rich.

I have no way of knowing if those loving people were Christians or not. I hope so, or their good deeds will be just another layer hiding misery. And one day, one day, all those layers come off.

God said to the Laodiceans that He disciplines those He loves. It could be the church in America has been taken out to the woodshed. May we get on our knees and repent, first of lacking discernment that we didn’t even know we were miserable, then, of being lukewarm when we could be on fire for our great and glorious God.

Published in: on December 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm  Comments Off on Living in Laodicea—The Church, Part 7b  
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