The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 100

“So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need anything’. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked”. [Revelation 3:16, NIV]

I feel certain that almost every Christian is acquainted with John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that all who believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. It is the gospel message in a nutshell. Following on from verse sixteen is a clear explanation of God’s reason for sending his Son - so that the world may not be condemned but rather saved through him.

Having made that comment, let me ask, “ How many people are familiar with the “3:16” passage from Revelation, quoted above? They were spoken by the ascended and glorified Jesus, a message given to John for the church in Laodicea, one of the seven early churches in Asia Minor.

Compare John 3:16 with Rev. 3:16. What a contrast! The first is comforting, but the second is a serious warning! I believe that this warning is particularly relevant to the present day church. If she is so eager to preach John 3:16, why is she so reticent about preaching scriptures like Rev.3:16? Let me try to explain her predicament.

The church has worked herself into a position very similar to the Laodicean church. She has comforted herself with the idea that as long as she does not commit any sins that are usually considered ‘gross sins’, God must be pleased with her. After all, she is not immoral in her conduct or idolatrous in her worship. She holds to all the right doctrines. She takes pride in her ministries and her organizational structures for ‘the furthering of the gospel’. She is proud that she has risen to the lofty heights of a mega-church. She is wealthy. (Praise God! Alleluia! etc, etc).

But the truth of the matter is that much of her activity is simply outward show. She has preached ‘grace’ to the extent where she has made it comfortable to sin. She no longer has a God to whom sin is abhorrent. Instead, she has a god of her own imagination – one who now only ‘winks’ at sin because Christ has already paid the price! To coin a phrase she ‘sits on her blessed assurance’.

Her attitude is what is called complacency. She no longer operates out of a deep love for Christ and a yearning to be like him, a hunger for truth, or a desire for true holiness and for His presence. Neither hot nor cold – just comfortable! Jesus says of her “I will spew you out of my mouth”. WHAT’S HER REMEDY? “REPENT”!

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues