Christ has no "commendation" for the Church, but much to complain of. He says---- I know thy works, that thou are neither cold or hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth," There is nothing more disgusting or nauseating than "tepid" water. So there is nothing more repugnant to Christ than a "tepid" church. He would rather have a church "frozen" or "boiling." Our churches today are largely in this "lukewarm" condition. There are very little of warm-hearted spirituality.There is much going on in them, but it is larglely mechanical and of a social character. Committees, societies, and clubs are multiplied, but there is an absence of "spiritual heat." Revival meetings are held, but instead of waiting on the Lord for power, evangelists and paid singers are hired and soul winning is made a business. The cause of this "lukewarmness" is the same as that of the Church of Laodicea---Self-Deception. "Because thou sayes I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." They thought they were rich, and outwardly they were, but Christ saw the poverty of their heart. There are many such churches in the world today. More so than inany other period in the history of the church. Many of these churches have Cathedral--like buildings, stained glass windows, eloquent preachers, paid singers, large congregations. Some of them have large landed interest and are well endowed,a nd yet they are poor. Many of the members if not the majority, are worldly, card playing, dancing, and theatre going Christians. The poor and the saintly are not wanted in such churches because their presence is a rebuke. These churches,do not see that they are wrected, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. If we were to visit such churches they would take pride in showing us the building, they would praise the preaching and singing, they would boast of the character of their congregations, the exclusiveness of their membership, and the attractiveness of all their services, but if we suggested a series of meetings for the "deepening of the Spiritual Life," or the conversion of the unsaved," they would say "Oh, no, we do not want such meetings, we have need of nothing." The Church at Laodicea was not burdened with debt, but it was burdened with WEALTH. The trouble with the church today is that it thinks that nothing can be done without money, and that if we only had the money the world woud be converted in this generation. The world is not to be converted by money, but by the Spirit of God. The trouble with the Church of Laodicea was that its "Gold" was not to right kind,a nd so it counseled to buy of the Lord "gold tried in the fire." What kind of gold is that? It is gold that has no taint upon it. Gold that is not cankered, or secured by fraud, or the witholding of a just wage. What a description we have of these Laodicean days in James 5:1-4. But he Church of Laodicea was not only poor, though rich, it was blind. Or to put it more accurately "Near-Sighted." They could see their worldly prosperity, but were "Short-Sighted" as to heavenly things, so the Lord counseled them to anoint their eyes with "Eye-Salve." Their merchants dealt in ointments and herbs of a high degree of healing virtue, but they possessed no salve that would restore impaired Spiritual Vision, only the Unction of the Holy One could do that. But the Church was not only poor, and blind, it was naked. Their outward garments were doubtless of the finest material and the lates fashionable cut, but not such as should adorn the person of a Child of God. So they were counseled to purchased of Christ "White Raiment," in exchange for the "raven black woolen" garments for which the garment makers of Laodicea were famous. Then a most startling revelation was made to the Church of Laodicea, Christ said-- "Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock." These words are generally quoted as an appeal to sinners, but they are not, they are addressed to a Church, and to the Church in whose midst Christ had once stood, but not found Himself excluded and standing outside knocking for admittance. This is the most startling thing recorded in the New Testament that it is possible for a church to be outwardly prosperous and yet have no Chrust in its midst, and be unconscious of the fact. This is a description of a Christiless Church. Oh, the EXCLUDED CHRIST. Exclude from His own nation, for they Rejected Him; excluded from the world, for it Crucified Him; excluded from His Church, for He stands outside its door Knocking for Entrance. How did Christ come to be outside the Church? He had been within it once or there never would have been a Chruch. How did He come to leave? It is clear that they had not thrust Him out, for they do not seem to have missed His presence. Thy continued to worship Him, to sing His praises, and engage in all manner of Christian service, yet He had withdrawn. Why? The reason is summed up in one word---Worldliness. But how is Christ to get back into His Church? Does it require the unanimous vote or invitation of the membership? No. "If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to Him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." That is, the way to revive a lukewarm church is for the individual members to open their hearts and let Christ re-enter, and thus open the door for His reappearance. The character of the Chruch today is Laodicean, and as the Laodicean Period is to continue until the Church of the "New-Born" is taken out, we cannot hope for any great change until the Lord comes back.
Evangelist Carla Beaver
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