During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Christian church came back to life after centuries of corruption, compromise, and apostasy.
The Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation broke the stranglehold of church authority, but while this act was freeing it also brought into the surface the festering skepticism about God.
Skepticism invaded theology from the very beginning of the Laodicean era. A movement ironically known as the “enlightenment” questioned the reliability of God’s word. “Higher Criticism” scrutinized every detail of the scriptures, trying to determine which people and events are actually historical and which verses are authentic.
These philosophical, scientific, and theological trends led to religious indifference and self-sufficiency which was unprecedented in human history.
Thus the Laodicea Church period is characterized by spiritual apathy and materialism:
- “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm…I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15,16).
- “Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).
This message reveals to us the condition of the church from the mid-nineteenth century until now. It is a church that is comfortable and at ease—the persecutions and spiritual battles seem to be over. The fervent revivals of the Philadelphia era have lost their impact, and apathy and indifference have taken over.
Invitation to the church of Laodicea
Most people in western countries would classify themselves as Christians, but Christ Himself doesn’t seem relevant to the problems and issues of their modern life. It doesn’t seem like God can help them get a better job, find relief from health problems, or improve fractured personal relationships.
Being a Christian means going to church and then ignoring God for the rest of the week. Apostle Paul predicted that this kind of religion would prevail during the era of the Laodicea—“In the last days… men will be lovers of themselves… having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5).
Contrary to a widespread Laodicean misunderstanding of God, what Jesus desires most is an intimate, personal love relationship: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
This is a relationship that He invites us to continue throughout eternity: “To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).
The messages to the seven churches seem to end on a note of uncertainty. Will the lukewarm Laodicea Church believers let Jesus come in and transform their lives?
You can read the full transcript of this video here.
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