Service Video Message Video Message Audio %} Lakeside Christian Church · The Lukewarm Church | Dear Church episode 07 Scripture Verses Revelation 3:14-22; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Galatians 3:10-11, 27 Worship Playlist Everlasting God by Chris TomlinBetter by Pat BarrettHis Mercy Is More by Matt Boswell Downloads & Resources The Lukewarm Church Dr. Jon Morrissette - 9/3/2023 This morning we wrap up our “Dear Church” series! Remember, next week we’re starting our “Dinner with Jesus” series. Jesus would often sit down in people’s homes, or around a table, and make himself known. There is a simplicity, even a casualness to his approach! We will be doing a fast flyover of the gospel of Luke. What are some of the basic things we should know, understand about Jesus?But this morning we’re in Laodicea. This might be the most memorable letter, of all written to the seven churches in Revelation. Couple of things to note about the city of Laodicea. First :: Ca Ching. Ca Ching. Laodicea was a prosperous banking center. People were proud of their wealth. After a severe earthquake in A.D. 60 they refused Roman disaster relief and opted to go it alone and rebuild on their own dime. They didn’t need a thing! Second :: Laodicea had a major water problem. They were a lot like Chatham—nice place to live but the water was just terrible! Maybe you like your water hot? In Asia Minor “spiced hot water” was all the rage. Maybe with Fall coming you are thinking of brewing up some pumpkin spice, herbal tea, or a hot cider. In Laodicea, they would pipe water into the city from hot springs six miles to the south. But by the time that hot water reached the city—yep you guessed it—it was pukey warm. Maybe you like your water cold? Supposedly they would pipe cold water into the city from the mountains. Is there anything more cool, fresh, and pure as water from a melting snow pack? Remember this is pre-industrial revolution! Let’s see what is your favorite water? How many are Evian people? How about Dasani? Aquafina? Fiji? Sams Club Nestle Pure Life? Mountain Valley Spring? Ice Mountain? What about Glaceau Smart Water? But by the time that cold water reached Laodicea—it was pukey warm! Plus, it had a taint of sediment, and odor of sulfur. By the way… at the State Fair there were these pink stands with signs that read “Sweet Tea and Jesus… Make Jesus famous!” Did anyone try and make Jesus famous? So Dear Laodicea… what will Jesus say to them? Revelation 3:14-16, “Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: Thus says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation: 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.” Let’s pause a moment! How many times have you heard the phrase “Luke Warm” applied to the Christian life? I’ve heard this phrase from childhood… at church camp, in Sunday school, at Bible college, in sermons, in devotions! But we ought not take it lightly, or be dismissive! Listen to what Jesus says! Revelation 3:17-18, “17 For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t realize 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, 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.” Revelation 3:19-22, “19 As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous and repent. 20 See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 “To the one who conquers I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.” Let’s, for a moment, jump back to verses 17-18. From these verses we can identify three springs of Luke-Warm Christianity. First, Luke-Warm Christianity springs from Godless Riches. In Revelation 3:17-18a Jesus says, “For you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t realize 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.” Right off the bat, I found myself wrestling with a huge question. Jesus says, “I advise you…” How many of you would like to have Jesus as your personal financial advisor? I know that sounds silly—but if Jesus advised you to buy, would you buy? If he advised you to sell, would you sell? One of the most famous admonitions Jesus ever gave was to the rich young ruler. Mark 10:41, “Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” The Rich Young Ruler didn’t follow Jesus advise on what to sell, nor what to buy. We Christians have found a hundred million ways to dismiss these verses—but the spiritual character of our soul is revealed not just in what we buy and sell, but in whether Jesus is truly indeed our chief financial advisor. Your financial advisor tells you how to maximize your assets. Build bigger barns! But Jesus says “You fool, what if your soul is demanded of you this day?” Your financial advisor tells you to maximize retirement—it’s a matter of life and death. Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Maybe you’d prefer the Apostle Paul to be your financial advisor. In 1 Timothy 6:17-19 he says, Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life. How about Moses the financial advisor? His concern in the Law (Deuteronomy 8:18) was that we “remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth!” In this letter Jesus introduces himself as the “originator of creation.” How quickly we thankless creatures turn against God, failing to glorify him as creator and source, instead turning to worship and serve created (material) things rather than our creator who is to forever be praised. We haven’t the time, but a brief survey of all Jesus teachings reveals our idolatrous zeal for riches, the comforts of our personal affluence… to be one of greatest obstacles to heeding Jesus’ invitation, “come follow me.” Ah wait, I just bought a field… I just bought a few oxen… I’ve got a barn to fill… We will get to Luke’s gospel soon enough! Second, Luke-Warm Christianity springs from Godless Righteousness. Revelation 3:18, “I advise you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed.” If our first problem is we become so rich we no longer need even God, then our second problem is we come to think we’re so righteous we no longer need Christ. Isn’t it interesting that the Rich Young Ruler had both problems? He saw himself as perfectly righteous, but Christ saw the truth. He was “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.” The affluent Laodiceans were “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.” We affluent Americans… what does Jesus Lord of His Church see? Pride is the very definition of Godless Riches—I don’t need God. It’s also the very definition of Godless Righteousness. “I don’t need Christ’s sacrifice. I don’t need his death, burial, and resurrection. I don’t need his forgiveness, mercy, or grace. Repent of what? I don’t need baptism—I don’t need to be washed, cleansed. I’m a good person—or at least good enough. These filthy rags on my back will be enough, should I stand before God. ‘Look I’ve kept all the commandments of God since I was a child!’ No, Jesus says, you still lack! And as long as you lack, you are “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.” And so long as your still “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked” then you still need Christ. Galatians 3:10-11, “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, Everyone who does not do everything written in the book of the law is cursed. Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith.” Faith? It is God who makes me rich. It is God who makes me righteous. I look to God, I worship him, I glorify, I thank him as Provider, as Originator of all I need for life, peace, salvation. God supplies what I cannot supply myself. By the way, in Galatians 3:27 it says, “For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ.” Baptism is a way we trust Christ to cleanse us and cloth us in a way we cannot cleanse and clothe ourselves. Colossians 3 is another place where were told to put on Christ---to clothe ourselves with Christ. That through faith in Jesus, our old life gets “hidden” in Christ. Christ covers our wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked souls. Lukewarm Christianity. I don’t need God, I’m affluent. I don’t need Christ, I’m a good person. I don’t need to evangelize—everyone else is good too. Third, Luke-Warm Christianity springs from Godless Reality. Revelation 3:18, “I advise you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, 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.” Godless reality—there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death! Lukewarm Christianity comes down to worldview, to how you view reality, and truth itself. Is Christ Jesus the Lord of all reality? Is Christ Jesus a competent advisor in regard to finding true (eternal) riches, true (eternal) righteousness, and true reality? Revelation 3:19-22, “19 As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be zealous and repent. 20 See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 “To the one who conquers I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.” Luke Warm Christianity. I don’t need God, I’m affluent. I don’t need Christ, I’m a good person. I don’t need to evangelize—everyone else is good too. I don’t need to listen, nor heed, nor repent at Christ’s Word. You probably didn’t come to church to hear Jesus say, “You make me want to puke.” But if that is the reality of things—who better to hear it from than the lover of your soul? As many as Jesus loves, he rebukes and disciplines. Do you receive his rebuke and discipline?