PROPHECY – LAODICEA – REVELATION 3:14-22
If you have been studying along with us, you no doubt agree that the study of the Laodicean church has been and is an important study for the church of today. But do not forget, this study is also important for individuals who have strayed from their walk with Christ (See Psalm 1:1-3).
NOTE: As part of the solution for those spiritual problems at Laodicea, Christ counseled them to “repent” – see Revelation 3:19.
Keep in mind that before He counsels them to repent He says that He loves them (Revelation 3:19). They are lukewarm and indifferent to Him, only half-committed to Him, but He STILL LOVES THEM. What a wonderful God we have, how patient He is as He deals with His rebellious children.
NOTE: The word used for love (philo) means a dear love, a tender, fatherly love.
Here we see that it is not out of anger that Christ tells the folks at Laodicea that they are going down the wrong path of life, sinning, coming short, (Romans 3:23; 6:23). God wants them to understand that they are on a path that leads to destruction. God is telling them out of love, not anger, to repent.
Remember, that there are two paths open to folks, one is broad and one is narrow. God wants His people on the right path to heaven, the narrow gate, that leads to heaven. Why? because Satan will lead them down the broad path that leads to destruction. Satan deceives people who will listen because he wants company in hell. Every person has a choice to make about the path that they follow; it is a choice see Matthew 7:13-14.
Why does He make it so clear? Because the folks at Laodicea must know and understand that judgment lies ahead so that they will do whatever is necessary to save themselves.
NOTE: The Lord’s rebuke and chastening hand is for one purpose only: Christ loves them and wants them to see their sin, correct their behavior, and change their lives. He wants people to possess, not only the fullness of life that they can have in this life, but also the hope of eternal life.
NOTE: The matter is so critical that Christs exhorts them to be ZEALOUS IN REPENTING. The word zealous means to boil and burn with zeal, sincerity, and earnestness in repenting (Preachers Outline & Sermon Bible, page 77). It means to burn a path to repent; to get to the matter of repenting immediately.
No doubt you understand Christ’s concern. Being LUKEWARM and HALF-COMMITTED to Christ is so serious a matter that a person must REPENT immediately. A person cannot afford even one minute or more before repenting. Why? Because He is bordering on being SPEWED (vomited) out of the mouth of Christ (Revelation 3:16).
There is the STANDING CHRIST. He stands at the door (Revelation 3:20). He counsels them to OPEN THE DOOR OF THEIR HEART AND TO LET HIM IN. This is one of the most beautiful and meaningful pictures of Christ in all of Scripture. At least, five scenes are being pictured. Let’s review these scenes and be blessed by God’s love for us.
- There is the STANDING CHRIST. He stands at the door. This symbolizes His readiness to enter the life of a person. He is the One who takes the initiative to save man.
- He is the One who has walked over and come to man. Man has not come to Him.
- He is the One who approached man. Man has not approached Him.
Jesus Christ stands before the heart of man as the Savior of the world (John 3:16). He is loving man so much that He has come into the world to save man. He is the One who has traveled the untold distance from the majesty of heaven down to stand before man, offering him God’s free gift of eternal life.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the One who followed the Father’s command to be born of a virgin human being (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23) and to live a perfect, sinless life (John 1:29; Hebrews 9:26; 2 Corinthians 5:20-21).
“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18, emphasis added, KJV).
“The Lord IS NIGH UNTO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON HIM, to all that call upon him in truth” (Psalm 145:18, emphasis added, KJV).
“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, BUT he that CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, even the Son of man WHICH IS IN HEAVEN” (John 3:13; Colossians 3:1-4, emphasis added, KJV).
“For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, AND GIVETH LIFE unto the world…For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that SENT ME” (John 6:33, 38, emphasis added, KJV).
“Jesus said unto them, ‘If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I PROCEEDED forth and CAME FROM GOD; neither came I of myself, BUT HE SENT ME’ ” (John 8:42, emphasis added, KJV).
- There is the KNOCKING OF CHRIST. He stands at the door and knocks. This symbolizes the seeking Christ. Christ has not only come to earth and walked over to man’s heart, He KNOCKS upon the heart of man; He actively seeks to enter man’s heart. He knocks and knocks at the door of man’s heart and He refuses to give up. It may take ten, twenty, or more years, but He stays at it, refusing to give up. Christ knocks so much that a person has to either open up or deaden his ears to the knock.
“How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and SEEKETH that which is gone astray?“ (Matthew 18:12, emphasis added, KJV).
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?” (Luke 15:4, emphasis added, KJV).
“Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?” (Luke 15:8, emphasis added, KJV).
“For the Son of man [Jesus] is come to SEEK AND TO SAVE that which was lost” (Luke 19:10, emphasis added, KJV)
“The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, ‘Follow me’ ” (John 1:43, emphasis added, KJV).
“Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, ‘Behold thou art made whole: SIN NO MORE, lest a worse thing come unto thee’ ” (John 5:14, emphasis added, KJV).
“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, ‘Dost thou believe on the Son of God’ “ (John 9:35, emphasis added, KJV).
There is the PLEADING OF CHRIST. He pleads for entrance. This symbolizes the COMPASSION of Christ. He not only knocks, He pleads and begs for man to open His heart. He is MERCIFUL and full of COMPASSION.
NOTE: He KNOWS what life should be, for HE CREATED LIFE. Therefore, He knows that life must be lived in wholehearted commitment TO RIGHTEOUSNESS or else it is wasted and doomed.
Jesus longs for man to have REAL LIFE, ABUNDANT AND ETERNAL LIFE. Therefore, He knocks and keeps on knocking at the door of a man’s heart. While He is knocking He pleads and begs for the man to hear Him through the ministry of the Holy Spirit as the Word of God is applied to man’s heart.
It is fascinating how often people hear the voice of Christ yet they refuse to let Him in!
- They hear His voice when they hear the Word of God preached and taught or witnessed to by a dynamic minister or some committed believer.
- They “hear” His voice when they read a tract or Bible literature.
But they HARDEN their ears and pay no attention to the pleading the Lord’s voice.
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest“ (Matthew 11:28, emphasis added, KJV).
“And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they WOULD NOT COME. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared MY DINNER: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, ALL THINGS ARE READY: come unto the marriage” (Matthew 22:3-4, emphasis added, KJV).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee,” (Matthew 23:37, emphasis added, KJV) (see also Luke 14:17; John 5:24; Romans 10:21; I Corinthians 10:20; Revelation 22:17; Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 55:1).
- There is the PENETRATING OF CHRIST. This is the most glorious promise imaginable! Can you imagine the Spirit of Christ living within the heart and life and body of a person…but it is true. When a person HEARS HIS VOICE AND OPENS HIS HEART, Christ enters; He penetrates the life of the person. He causes the most radical and seemingly changes imaginable.
- He causes the person to be BORN AGAIN.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again [born from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God‘ ” (John 3:3, emphasis added, KJV).
- He makes a new creature out of the person.
“Therefore if ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, emphasis added, KJV).
- He makes a NEW MAN out of the person.
“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10 KJV).
- He changes the person’s corruptible nature into an INCORRUPTIBLE NATURE.
“Being born again [born from above], not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (I Peter 1:23, emphasis added, KJV).
- He gives the person a DIVINE NATURE, the very nature of God Himself.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be PARTAKERS of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4, emphasis added, KJV).
- There is the COMPANION CHRIST. This symbolizes fellowship. When Christ enters and penetrates a person’s heart, He lives forever within the life of the person. He is ALWAYS PRESENT WITH THE PERSON:
- looking after and caring for him, John 10:27-20; I Corinthians 10:13,
- talking and sharing with him, I Corinthians 2:6-16,
- leading and guiding him, Proverbs 3:5-6,
- strengthening and empowering him, Ephesians 6:10-18; 5:18-20,
- proving for and meeting his needs, Philippians 4:13,19; Psalm 46:1-11,
- maneuvering and working all things out for good for him, Romans 8:28; Philippians 2:12-13, and
- furnishing and filling him with love, joy, and peace, Galatians 5:16, 22-23.
When Jesus Christ enters a life, there is no good thing whatsoever that is kept from the person. He has the richest fellowship possible, fellowship and communion with the Son of God Himself. And the person has it forever and ever. (See John 17:23; Luke 24:32; I Corinthians 1:9; I Corinthians 3:16; I Corinthians 6:19-20; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 3:17-19; Colossians 1:27.)
Revelation 3:21-22 OVERCOMERS and God’s promise. The promise is glorious. The overcomer shall sit upon the throne of Christ and of God! The person who overcomes the lukewarmness and half-hearted commitment to Christ, who REPENTS and TURNS HIS LIFE OVER TO CHRIST, shall sit upon the throne of Christ and of God. What does this mean?
- That we shall rule and reign with Christ forever and ever.
- That we shall be assigned certain duties in the new heavens and earth, given the responsibility to oversee and manage the universe for Christ (Matt 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17, 19).
- That we shall RULE and oversee the work and duties of angels (I Corinthians 6:2-3).
It means that we shall rule as kings with Christ through the whole universe for all of eternity (see rewards Revelation 14:13; Revelation 21:24-27).
Does this sound exciting to you? If you are saved, it is already yours. If you are not saved, you can be. It is your decision and your decision alone to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and to have all that we have talked about. It can be yours, if you want it, and no one can stop it (see John 3:16).
“But without FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM [GOD], for he who comes to God MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that He is a rewarder [His free gift of salvation], of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, emphasis added, KJV).
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