Lukewarm - Church in Doctor's Office #6

Bible Book: Revelation  3 : 14-22
Subject: Church; Backslidding; Commitment, Lack of; Laodicea
Series: Your Church in the Doctor's Office

A man died in a small community and his preacher was preparing his funeral. The deceased man was a terrible husband, an awful father, an unreliable business partner, and never attended the church where he was a member. As the pastor was praying over what to say about the man, the brother of the deceased man barged into the pastor’s office. He told the pastor that if though his brother was not perfect, he wanted kind words said about him. He went on and told the preacher that if he would go so far as to say his brother was a saint and a good man, that he would write the  church for $100,000 in memory of his brother. The preacher studied the face of the brother, bit his lower lip, drew in a big breath, released it slowly and said, “I’ll do it!”

Word got out in the community that their beloved pastor had sold out for $100,000 and was going to tell the entire church that the deceased was a saint and good man. On the day of the funeral the church was packed, with the brother of the deceased sitting on the front pew with his sister-in-law and her children.

The pastor stood up, and said, “The man that lays before you today was one of the meanest men who ever took a breath, he was ugly to wife, cruel to his children, ruthless in business, and would not darken the doors of his own church, but in comparison to his brother sitting here on the front row, he was a saint and good man!”

When we compare ourselves to others we must be careful, because the results that may not be what we expect. This morning is the last sermon in our series on Your Church in the Doctor’s Office. As  you know, I have used the idea of these churches being examined by Jesus, the Great Physician, as though they were in a doctor’s office. However, the difference is that all of the churches were hearing what the Great Physician said to the other churches. When we go to the doctor, we don't know what the physician is saying to all the others who are there. Yet, when Dr. Jesus examined The Seven Churches, each knew what He said to the others

The last church, Laodicea, had heard everything about their sister churches, the good and the bad. I believe the Church of Laodicea was feeling good about itself. Maybe they were thinking that Jesus was saving the best for last, and He was going to tell everyone that the Christians at Laodicea were at the head of the class.

One fact that they had overlooked was that Great Physician, Jesus, closely studied His patients before He talked to them. Just like a good doctor will know your age, weight, height, blood pressure, where you work, live, and what is going on in your life at that particular moment, Jesus knows everything about us. He knows what we will admit to Him and what we try to hide from Him. The Church of Laodicea was no exception. As they came into the presence of Jesus they were feeling pretty good about the outcome of His examination. They had examined themselves and were excited to get a second opinion that might even be better than the first. They could not have been more wrong!

This morning, I want to follow the Great Physician as He gives…

I. An Unexpected Diagnosis

Jesus discovered something in His examination that the Church of Laodicea would rather He had missed. But, Jesus never missing anything when He is examining us.

The City of Laodicea had terrible water problems! The water had so much sediment in it that it was undrinkable. The people tried to drink their water but they spewed it out because they could not bear the taste. They had a solution. Two other cities close by had great water. One city had hot springs, and they placed a pipe from that city to their own city to get hot water. Another city had great cold water, and they also piped that water into their city. However, they had a problem, when the hot water arrived it would be lukewarm, and when the cold water arrived, it too would be lukewarm. It was an aggravation, but one they had become accustomed to. Jesus gives a…

A. Heavenly Response

“I will spit you out of my mouth!”

They were at the wrong temperature spiritually. They arrived at this because they had allowed themselves to get accustomed to spiritual indifference. They were indifferent to God’s love and grace, and they were also indifferent to sin and the suffering of others. They had lost their loyalty to God and their hostility to sin. They had become comfortable, complacent, and they had convinced themselves they did not need Jesus. Jesus told them that He had no place for that type of spiritual attitude.

B. Earthly Perception

The Heavenly Response was met with an earthly perception. It involved how the Church saw itself. They saw themselves as rich. These people were so arrogant concerning their wealth that when their city was destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 60, they refused the emperor’s offer of what we would call, “federal disaster relief funds.”

They also saw themselves as having everything they needed. They didn’t even need a better relationship with Jesus - they had all of Him they wanted! They saw themselves as self-sufficient, Jesus couldn’t do anything for them, or so they thought!

When you see yourself as rich, self-satisfied, and self-sufficient, where will you end up? The answer is not a good one!

C. Spiritual Reality

They were forced to face the reality of their earthly position!

Jesus gives them the right diagnosis, He said they were, “Wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked!” Can you imagine the response of the Laodiceans as they heard what Jesus knew about them?

Reality is something that we all must deal with sooner or later. A lost person has to deal with the reality of sin in his or her life. Of course, the lost don’t have the Holy Spirit within them to convict them of sin. That doesn’t mean that a lost person cannot feel conviction, but that they have not dealt with the issue of sin in their lives, and the Holy Spirit does not have dominion in their lives to guide them or help them.

Jesus is writing to believers who have the Holy Spirit, but because they have allowed the feeling of contentment to rule their lives, they are lukewarm to idea of the Holy Spirit convicting them of anything!

II. An Uncompromising Directive

This is what Jesus tells them to do about their condition!

A. Get Some Gold From Him

Pay the price to get true gold tried in the fire. Fire can mean persecution. Perhaps part of the problem for the people in the Church at Laodicea was that they had become so comfortable that they were not willing to stand up for Christ in their city. Jesus was calling on them to take a stand - to make a difference - yes, it would mean being persecuted, but it would produce spiritual gold tried in the fire.

Are you willing to stand for Christ at work, school and in your neighborhood even when it means that people will treat you differently? We will never have spiritual gold in our lives unless we are willing to stand for Christ regardless of the circumstances.

Sometimes, God sends suffer our way to wake us up! Let’s be honest, nothing makes God’s people examine their priorities faster than suffering! If you are willing to stand for Him, then He just may  send you to the "woodshed." That means, he will have to chastise us to bring us back to the place we belong!

B. Get Some Clothing From Him

Jesus said they were naked, and to be naked indicated the situation of being defeated and humiliated! With their money they could go the market and buy the fine woolen garments that they were known for all around the world. However, that would not meet their real need, for what they needed was white garments of God’s righteousness and grace!

Have you ever gone somewhere only to realize when you got there that you were undressed? Isn't that an awful feeling? Any of us who are not living for Jesus as we should are undressed before God! We are not wearing the white garments of our salvation, and the clothing of grace that He provided for us at Calvary! He tells us to "dress" our lives up with godly living and a true witness for Him!

C. Get Some Eye Medicine From Him

These people were so blind that they could not see themselves for what they were! Since they couldn’t see themselves for what they were, they could not see Jesus for who He is! They were so blind that they could not see open opportunities that Jesus had initiated for them to minister to others. The city was known for selling eye salve, but the kind of medication they needed was not available in any local shop. What they needed was the Holy Spirit to open their eyes to see the situation they were in and to correct it!

III. An Unending Devotion

After the people read what Jesus had said about them, what would happen next? Would He give up on them and turn His attention elsewhere? I believe this Scripture is one of the best explanations about God’s kind of love! Here we see a group of believers who evaluated themselves improperly instead of seeing their lives through the eyes of the Lord. They were so full of pride that they had blinded themselves to God’s purpose for their lives.

This Church did not receive any commendation from Jesus. Maybe it was because they were too busy commending themselves. They thought they were glorifying God when in reality they were a disgrace to His name, just as though they were walking around naked. In spite of all of these facts, Jesus tells them that He loves them. Jesus said that those He loved…

A. He Corrects Them

Jesus does speak frankly to them to be mean, but to direct them and to correct them. When Jesus points out the truth to you, He is doing it because He loves you. Those He loves, He corrects!

B. He Chastises Them

Here is our part, we must have a burning passion to change our minds about how we are living our lives, and turn to Jesus! Listen, correction and discipline always bring a response. We will either become angry and run from God, or we will repent and turn to God for forgiveness.

C. He Calls Them

Then Jesus gives this great illustration about how He is reaching out to them and to us! He says that He is standing at the door of our hearts, individually, and He is waiting for us to allow Him to come inside and have His way in our lives! He is calling to us to allow Him to have every room in our  hearts.

The late F.B. Meyer discovered, during his ministry, that opening up his entire life to the Spirit was the secret to freedom from a sin he couldn't conquer. After a long battle with a particular sin, he knelt by his bed, held open his outstretched hands, and prayed, "Lord, here are the keys of my life. Take them and unlock every door. Fill every room! Make me willing, dear Lord, to let You occupy every room and free me from every cherished sin."

Once he gave the Spirit complete access to his life, the sin was defeated.

Have you let the Holy Spirit have the keys to all the rooms of your life? If you want to have victory, you must give Him "the run of the house."

Jesus seeks entrance at the front door of the lost person’s life, but He seeks the back rooms and corners in the lives of Christians. It is apparent that the Christians at Laodicea, knowingly or unknowingly, had kept some doors locked to the Lord.

Listen, Jesus wants into every room in our lives. This fact will always be true! We are disciplined by the Lord but that is because He loves us. Why, even the proud and stubborn sinner is still a possible host for God if he or she will but open the door to the heart.


Is Jesus knocking at your heart today? To knock means for someone on the outside to seek the attention of someone on the inside. Jesus can use the knocking of pain, persecution, hardship, etc, to get our attention. He knows we need Him more than anything else in this world. Jesus has the  only remedy that exists for sin and for suffering. Yes, imitations may be on the market, but only Jesus can and will truly deliver the real thing – only He can satisfy the human heart. Will you let Him in?

There is an old hymn that states in one section these words:

"Jesus is waiting, oh, come to Him now -

Waiting today, waiting today,

Come with your sins, at His feet lowly bow;

Come, and no longer delay.

Calling today, Calling today;

Jesus is calling, is tenderly calling todayl" (Francis J. Crosby, 1883)

He is knocking at your hearts door now. He is calling. Will you answer and invite Him in? Do it now!