14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, 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:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: 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.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Laodicea was situated in the Lycos Valley in the province of Phrygia. It was famous for several things. It was the place that produced a very fine glossy black wool making Laodicea very rich and the people in the city fashion-conscious. Near Laodicea was the temple and school of medicine renowned for an ointment for eye diseases. It was also known as a financial centre. It was so rich that when the city was destroyed by an earthquake in AD60, the citizens rejected the offer of help from Rome, and rebuilt the whole city at their own expense. However, Laodicea did not have an adequate supply of water. It had to rely on Hierapolis and Colossae for its water supply. Hierapolis to the north was known for its hot springs. Colossae to the south with her snow-capped mountains was famous for its clear, cold streams of water. Water was carried into Laodicea through aqueducts (artificial channel for conveying water). By the time, the water – whether it was hot water from Hierapolis or cold refreshing water from Colossae – reached Laodicea, it was neither cold nor hot; but rather, it was lukewarm.
The spiritual make-up of Laodicea parallels its physical geography. The Laodicean stands out as one of two churches that our Lord Jesus Christ had nothing good to say. The Laodiceans thought that they had everything going for them. They were self-sufficient. They had need of nothing. But our Lord Jesus said that they were spiritually destitute, blind, and naked [vv.15-17]. The Laodiceans were spiritually apathetic. They were lukewarm. It is like serving your guest lukewarm coffee or lukewarm Coca-Cola’ both signify your indifference to your guest. The Laodiceans lacked enthusiasm and commitment. They went through the motions of Christian activity with conviction. And our Lord says – I will spue [vomit] you out of My mouth.
Our Lord is not looking for bodies to fill the pews and take up space. He wants total commitment from us [Matthew 22:37; 28:19-20]. Spiritual lukewarmness is the bane of the church corporately and of the Christian individually. If there is a machine to measure your spiritual zeal, where would you stand? If Christ were to write a letter to you – “Dear (your name) ….” What would your Lord Jesus say about you? What would you want our Lord Jesus to say about you?
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
Combined B-P Conference (2019) Devotional by Ps Isaac Ong