05/22/11 Who's Knocking at Your Door?

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 Under: Sermon
The Letters to the Seven Churches  Series - Laodicea

Text: Revelation 3:14-22 (HCSB)

14 To the angel of the church in Laodicea
write: “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy, and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent. 20 Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. 21 The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”

“Not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 (HCSB)

Intro: The Worst Church!

This is the last church addressed by Christ, and it is the worst church. Christ does not commend Laodicea at all. This is the one church about which He has nothing good to say. Imagine a church that may as well not exist - a church that has no good within its body whatsoever - a church that does no good at all. What was it that made the church so bad? So useless and worthless? Lukewarmness, which means that the church was indifferent, complacent, lethargic, self-satisfied, half-hearted, and neutral. The church and its believers were only half-way committed to Christ, only half-hearted in their worship and service for Him. To Christ there is no good whatsoever in a lukewarm, half-committed believer, and most church members are lukewarm! There are few who are really hot, that is, really committed. Hence, this is a critical message that must be heeded by all churches and believers. We must study what Christ says to this church and heed His warning and counsel.

Application: A Lukewarm Church can’t please God!

Overcomer - Greek word: nikaō

1. Refocus: vs. 15

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot."

The churches focus must be Christ and Christ only, not depend upon its prosperity: its rituals, ability, energy, wealth, and resources. The church's wealth and prosperity are meaningless and useless apart from being absolutely centered in Jesus Christ.

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” Luke 9:23

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” Romans 12:1-2

Lukewarmness! 

- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to Christ. In addition to stressing Christ, it stresses ritual, ceremony, and programs as a way to become acceptable and to please God.
- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to teaching the Word of God.
- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to evangelism and missions.
- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to stressing holy and pure living for Christ.

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16

- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to self-denial and sacrificial living.
- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to the church.

“Not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25 (HCSB)

- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to attending and staying awake and learning in the services of the church. 
- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to supporting the church. 
- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to witnessing.
- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to Bible study and prayer.
- A lukewarm church is only half-committed to daily devotions.

2. Rebuke: Vs. 16-17

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy, and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked,” “I will spue you out of my mouth.”

There was a need for this church to be reprimanded, the Church was arrogant!

What happened to the church is what so often happens among believers. They equated wealth and prosperity with spirituality. They felt that they had been especially blessed by God because they had been blessed with material possessions and wealth. They became... • self-sufficient • independent • self-centered • prideful • conceited • boastful

It was all about what they cold do, not what God could do!

Worship, Bible study, prayer, missions, witnessing, and activities - all were done as a matter of form and as a part of the normal activity of the church. There was no hunger or thirst after God, no sense of a deep-seated need, no desire for God's Word, no burden for the lost, no sense of needing to grow spiritually.

- The church was spiritually “wretched”
- The church was spiritually “miserable” They were missing out on experiencing the power of Christ working in their lives and in the church. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth”
- The church was spiritually “poor” 
- The church was spiritually “blind”
- The church was spiritually “naked”

3. Repent: vs. 18-20

“I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent. 20 Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.”

Christ counsels them to buy spiritual gold, spiritual clothing, and spiritual eye salve: Spiritual Gold: spiritual riches: joy, peace, faith & happiness… Spiritual clothing: person clothed in the righteousness of Christ Spiritual eye sight: the eye salve means the God-given ability to see spiritual truth. No longer blind. Christ counsels them to be zealous and to repent. The word zealous means to boil and burn with zeal, sincerity, and earnestness in repenting. It means to burn a path to repent; to get to the matter of repenting immediately. Christ counsels them to open the door of their heart and to let Him in.

- There is the standing Christ. He stands at the door.
- There is the knocking Christ. He stands at the door and knocks. Are you going to let Him in? “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
- There is the pleading Christ. He knocks and keeps on knocking at the door of a man's heart, and while He is knocking, He pleads and begs for the man to hear Him. But they hardened their ears and pay no attention to the pleading of the Lord's voice. 
- There is the penetrating Christ. Christ enters; He penetrates the life of the person. He causes the person to be born again. NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST!
- There is the companion Christ. This symbolizes fellowship.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

4. Reward: Vs. 21-22

“The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”

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.

Forever!

Conclusion: The seven churches which one do you want to be a part of? 
  1. Have you lost it? (Ephesus) first Love
  2. No matter what! (Smyrna) this is what a church should be able to do – keep going
  3. Sword of Power! (Pergamum) Satan’s headquarters.
  4. Shameless! (Thyatira) corruption…
  5. CPR in progress! (Sardis) Dead and lifeless, CPR = Christ Please Restore
  6. Church of Brotherly Love! (Philadelphia) they Love each other!
  7. Who’s Knocking @ your Door? (Laodicea) the worst church
Who's Knocking @ your door? Or do you see the need to open the door that leads you to refocue?


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