9/09/2020 – Laodiceans, A Self-satisfied, Indecisive People! Who Us?

Welcome back for another conversation. Having a saving relationship, an everlasting relationship with Jesus is crucial at this point in earth’s history. In previous blogs, I have shared with you my conviction that we are witnessing Biblical prophecy being fulfilled before us as we live in the last days. It is my belief that Jesus’ 2nd Coming is just around the corner. Please consider leaving a comment, sharing where you stand on the climate and times in which we live. I would love to hear from you. When we share our love for Jesus and our thoughts, we provide each other with food for thought, and a purpose for more prayer and study. We grow in Jesus together which is the point of my message today.

Currently, my sister and I are reading 40 Days of Prayer by Dennis Smith. The book is broken down into 40 shorts reading, one for each day, and we are in the last 7 days of the book. Dennis is discussing the importance of Christian fellowship (growing together as Christians) – especially as we draw close to the time of the end. Also, fellowship is vitally important to those of us praying for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the latter rain. Just before Jesus ascended to Heaven, after spending a month with His disciples and close followers, “He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;” (Acts 1:4 ) In Acts 1:9, Jesus ascends to Heaven and in verses 12 & 14 we are told the disciples went back to the upper room in which they were staying with the others and they prayed constantly. On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus’ followers received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, called the early rain, and in the last days we will receive the latter rain. The early and latter rains are a critical part of planting seeds in the hearts of people and then – Just before Jesus’ 2nd coming – harvesting souls for His kingdom. Bibleask.org states the definition and purpose quite nicely.

“With farmers, after planting, a seasonal rain provided moisture for germination and initial growth. This was called the early rain. Later, near the time for harvest, another copious watering was referred to as the latter rain. So while the first rain was important for germination, the second rain provided a nourishment that was important for the harvest. Biblical writers used these terms to describe the visitation of the Holy Spirit upon the church in a dispensational sense. The “early rain” came at Pentecost to give power to the witness of the gospel. Another outpouring of rain, the latter rain, is coming at earth’s final soul harvest before the second coming of Christ.” bibleask.org/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-latter-rain

At this time, I feel compelled to move to the Book of Revelation and see what the Word has to say about God’s last day people. Are we ready for the latter rain? For centuries after John the Beloved wrote Revelation, through Divine inspiration, many have believed that Daniel and Revelation were closed books – books for the end times. In my humble opinion, this is another indicator that we are in the end times, because these two books of the Bible have been opened to our understanding by the power of the Holy Spirit. To better understand the nature of God’s people, in the last days, I would like to start with the Letters to the Churches – specifically Laodicea.

Let’s pray. Father God, all glory and honor is Yours. We humbly come before Your throne praising Your power to save, to forgive us of our sinful ways, and leading us in the paths of righteousness. We submit ourselves to hearing from Your Spirit the true Laodicean condition of Your last day people. As we acknowledge Your leading in the past, we ask for Your guidance in finding our way to the foot of the cross and repentance. We want to surrender our Laodicean condition to the saving power of Jesus. In Jesus name, Amen!

The Book of Revelation is about future, prophetic events given to John the Beloved, on the island of Patmos. The seven churches of Revelation 3, located in Asia Minor, were actual churches of John’s time. But as prophecy often does, (especially in Daniel and Revelation) the churches not only represent churches of John’s day, but each of the seven churches represent a period of time from Jesus’ ascension to the end of time. The first church, Sardis, was the first church age (period of time) of the disciples’ time. The seven church ages starts with Sardis and follows in order of how they are given in Revelation 3, down to our time – the Laodicea Age. Here is the letter God wrote to us:

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of My mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with My Father on His throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:14-22)

Wow! I think that was a wake up call! But, before we get into discussing the letter to the church of Laodicea, I would like to look at some facts about the city. “Laodikeia is literally ‘righteous people,’ from the Greek words laos and dikaios. Dikaios was understood in the Greek mind as being that which is deemed righteous by man, as opposed to another Greek word, hosios, which denotes that which was deemed righteous by the gods, or rather by God.” (www.ageoflaodicea.com/) Laodicea was a wealthy community, was ideally located, and had need of nothing. Here is a list of her attributes, provided by: lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/revelation/seven-churches-of-revelation

  1. The great Roman road stretching to the inland of Asia from the coast at Ephesus ran straight through its center, making Laodicea an important center of trade and communication.
  2. Its wealth came from the production of a fine quality of famous glossy black wool—whether dyed or natural in color is not known.
  3. So wealthy was Laodicea that after the great earthquake of A.D. 17, which destroyed it, the people refused imperial help in rebuilding the city, choosing rather to do it entirely by themselves.
  4. Laodicea had a famous school of medicine; and a special ointment known as ‘Phrygian powder,’ famous for its cure of eye defects.

It is easy to see why the Laodicean church members would have the attitude spoken of in the letter. They had wealth, power, and prestige. They were so used to their lifestyle they had no idea there was greater wealth, greater power, and prestige freely given by Jesus. They had no clue what Jesus was offering them and they didn’t know to ask. When they received the letter from God and were faced with the reality of their behavior, they each had to make a choice. You see, at that time, they were enjoying what they thought was the best of both worlds – they were having their cake and eating it too. They didn’t realize that their status quo lukewarmness was a bad thing. To them, it probably felt safe and kept everyone happy. Did they need rampant hate and evil to run their streets before they would wake up?

I see so many similarities between today’s Christians and the Christians in John’s time. It used to be so easy to relax and let life take its course – enjoy family, friends, church comfort, endless choices, technology, and so much more at our fingertips. For the most part, I have truly lived in a society of no worries or cares, just as they did. I can’t speak for all of your life experiences, but I am pretty sure it had to better back when than it is now. Today’s environment is not relaxing, not peaceful. Change is needed and Jesus has the answers. He says in Revelation 3, we are “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” In a lukewarm state we can find ourselves sleepy and relaxed, not prepared for what lies ahead of us. We are blinded to today’s events and their purpose in fulfilling prophecy. Can we ride the fence between this world and Jesus – can we have both? Do we want both? I know, as I look around today, read about world events, USA news, and all the BAD that is taking place, I don’t want to be in this world anymore.

The letter to the church of our age seems negative and on the surface it is. But, Jesus loves us so much that he wants to help us see the error of our ways, the deadly trap this world has set for us, that a house divided can not stand. We can only serve one master and I choose Jesus. Jesus has called for a reformation, a revival, a renewal. If we don’t heed His warning, wake up, and received His timely gifts of gold, white raiment, and eye salve, we will be lost to a world gone wrong. Remaining on the fence, lukewarm, is a result of not making a choice and that path leads to destruction.

Pray daily, with me, that the latter rain, the Holy Spirit be poured out without measure and the harvest can be completed. Amen! Come Lord Jesus Come!

Until next blog, May Jesus prepare you to sit at His right hand. (Revelation 3:21)

joaniestahl.com

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