Hello, before reading this article I encourage you to read Spiritual Punks, Spiritual Punks 2, Spiritual Punks 3 , Spiritual Punks 4 and Spiritual Punks 5 so that you can see the context. God bless you!
- The Message to the church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-21
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (NIV)
Laodicea is a big church filled with resources, but like the church of Sardis, this church has a problem thinking that they are what they are not. Jesus say of this church, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Revelation 3:17 (NIV).
How can a church be so wrong? How can they see themselves so successful while Jesus sees them as pitiful, poor, blind and naked? Again, I go back to the root of the problem; these churches are not listening to what the Spirit of God is saying; they have lost all sensitivity to the Holy Ghost.
We have been able to see that what makes us spiritual punks is not confronting false doctrines. Many churches are filled with a wrong idea of love, mercy, grace, prosperity, peace, unity and so on. In the name of love or, in the name of not attacking the Bride of Christ or, not getting involved in politics, we remain quiet and allow these false doctrines to go uncheck.
Some pastors are afraid of answering straight questions regarding homosexuality, abortion or Black Lives Matter. They hide behind the expression “only God can judge the heart.” On the other hand, they describe those who confront these demonic doctrines as “judgmental” or having a “critical spirit” or, having no love. So, what do we do? We punk out when faced with tough questions regarding Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, Hillsong, Elevation Church, Bethel, etc. We allow this crap in our churches without discussion; without confronting anything!
On this series we have been able to clearly see that out of the seven churches, two are in great standing before the Lord, Smyrna and Philadelphia. Smyrna is filled with tribulation and is promised even more tribulation coming. The only consolation they are receiving from Jesus has nothing to do with the present life; their only consolation is eternal life with Christ. It seems like that is sufficient for this church. Philadelphia, on the other hand, is described by Jesus as having little power (Revelation 3:8). Neither one of these churches will look successful by today’s standards, but they are, by God’s standards and, that is all that should matter. These are the two churches that we should emulate.
The remaining 5 churches are in serious trouble. Three of these churches are in trouble for allowing and not confronting false doctrines; those are Ephesus, Pergamum and Thyatira. Two are in trouble with Jesus because they were deceived and thought they were what they are not; those are Sardis and Laodicea. Think about this for a minute, 71.43% of the seven churches are in trouble with Jesus; only 28.57% are in good standing. If you just move to a new town and are looking for a local church and you are struggling… this is why! I encourage you today with the words of Jesus, a word that he repeated 7 times as he was speaking to the seven churches, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Are you listening?