Rev. 3:14-22 THE CHURCH THAT THOUGHT IT HAD IT ALL
Intro: Ill. Jesus saved the worse church to last. This letter is the saddest, the most
disturbing and, sadly, the one we can identify the most clearly with. It is the picture
of most churches today. It is certainly the picture of the church in the last days. We
have moved in our study from the days of the Apostles to the days of the Apostasy.
We have lived long enough to witness the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. In that we
have witnessed the full rise of the apostate church, 2 these. 2:3. Ill. A Redbook survey
of American church leaders revealed that 59% rejected the Virgin Birth; 71% Life
after death; 54% the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus; 98% the personal return of the
Lord. Brother, we are in a mess. This church was also. Laodicea was a very
important city in Asia Minor. It was known for, 1. Wealth, Banks and Pride - Ill.
earthquake in 17 AD; 2. Clothing Industry - (Black Wool); 3. Medical School - Eye
Salve; 4. Water Situation - They received cold water from Colosse and hot water
from Hierapolis. But all water was lukewarm by the time it reached Laodicea. It is to
this town and the church located there that Jesus comes with his message for them.
I. v.14 THE DYNAMIC CHRIST
A. He Is All-Conquering - He is the Fatherís fullest Amen to manís deepest need.
He is the end of the revelation. He is the final authority. He is the Amen! (Ill.
B. He Is All-Convicting - He will not Dilute the truth; He will not Distort the
truth. (Ill. All the ways we have of skirting truth!) God deals with the facts. He will
tell this church the perfect truth. He will do the same for you and me.
C. He Is All-Controlling - He is the origin of Godís creation - John 1:3. He is
responsible for all we see.
II. v.15-17 THE DELUDED CHURCH
A. v.15-16 Itís Sickening Compromise - They were a mixture of fire and ice.
They were aware of Calvary, but were not moved by it! They knew about Hell,
But didnít try to warn the lost! (Ill. We have a message! We need to be fired up
about the things of God!) (Ill. Many cold, a few frozen!)
1. Ill. Two reasons for concern:
a. Most Difficult people to move toward God.
b. Misrepresents God and Jesus. (Ill. Jesus desires that we be one way or the
2. Jesus says He will spue them out. They make Him physically ill and He will
vomit them out! (Ill. Our tendency to compromise and get cold!)
B. v.17 Itís Sickening Complacency - Their personal viewpoint contrasted with
that of the Lord! They felt they had it all, He says they have nothing! They
were fooled by the trappings of religion, (Ill. Offerings, attendance, buildings,
budgets, education, organization, ritual, etc.) (Ill. Church of God Grill!) Jesus
declares that they have nothing at all - Ill. Tomas Aquinas and Pope Innocent
Ill. Jesus says they are:
1. Wretched - To be pressed under a burden.
2. Miserable - To be pitied. (Ill. The poorest saint had more honor then they!)
3. Poor - Spiritual beggars.
4. Blind - Spiritually unclothed
5. This is where the modern church is today. Seeking to serve God by traveling
down blind alleys. Some of which are: Fundamentalism, Exclusiveism,
Ritualism, Rationalism, Socialism, Occultism, Ecumenism, Materialism.
III. v.18-19 THE DEFINITE CHOICE
(Christ councils them to do several things:) They need:
A. Spiritual Values - Only those things gotten from Jesus are of value!
B. Spiritual Virtues - (Ill. The Emperors Clothes) The world can see through
this type of churchís facade. We need to cloth ourselves in the works of the
C. Spiritual Vision - (Ill. Eyesalve) Ill. there is a great need for us to see ourselves
as God sees us and the world as He see them. Where is our surrendered walk
and our consuming love for a perishing world?
D. Spiritual Vitality - REPENT! Nothing else will suffice! His council is for
ZEAL! Jesus desires that we reach the boiling point in our love for Him. Are
you on fire for the Lord? (Ill. Our only resort is usually our last resort! Only
repentance will pour the Spirit into our churches!
IV. v.20-22 THE DUAL CHALLENGE
A. To The Sinners In The Church - Jesus waits, patiently, in love. He waits for
that one person to open the heart and let Him in!
1. Implies Friendship
2. Implies Fellowship
(Ill. He waits for one Christian
to open the door for real revival!) (Ill. The Excluded Christ! How many times
have we locked Jesus out?)
B. To The Saints In The Church -
1. They shall reign with Jesus - 2 Tim. 2:12
2. They shall rejoice with Jesus
Sermon By Alan Carr