Since shortly after the inception of the church of the Living God founded upon the gospel of Jesus Christ and filled with all repentant born again believers, the Laodicean church has been in existence. We know this because the Apostle John was directed by Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, to write a letter to the church at Laodicea. The influence of the characteristics of this church hasn’t waned, but rather has waxed stronger and stronger with each passing generation so that the visible church today could be called a Laodicean church, a lukewarm church that is disgusting to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, devoid of His Holy Spirit, missing His presence. Here is the letter that Jesus Christ commanded the Apostle John to write to the church at Laodicea; the attitude of this church is strikingly similar to the visible church of our day. Why is that?
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things say the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame or your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
The Laodicean church was neither exuberant with their love for the Lord Jesus Christ, nor were the hostile towards His name. They were instead self-satisfied in the outward trappings of their religious affiliation. They were a supposed “Christian” church, but notice that Christ was standing outside of the church trying to get the attention of those inside of the church. Why was Christ standing outside of the church? I believe the answer is the church at Laodicea had embraced the philosophies and practices of the unregenerate whom supposedly had a better way of doing church. In other words they were following man made doctrines and practices. This can be borne out by the letter to the Colossian church written by the Apostle Paul. Paul admonishes the church at Colossea to beware of empty philosophies and traditions that emanate from the mind and heart of fallen man, and instead to be built up in their faith in Christ. When we substitute the teachings of men for the Word of God as the source of spiritual food in our lives we fall prey to the deceit of the enemy and our glorious walk with Christ is greatly harmed. He wanted his letter to the Colossians to be read also to the Laodiceans.
1 For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:1-10
16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. 20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? Colossians 2:16-22
So Paul, by the power of the Holy Spirit, was warning the beloved brethren in Colossea and Laodicea to avoid and turn away from the commandments and doctrines of men that were only designed to cheat them of their reward and lead them away from Christ, being complete in Him. The church today is full of the doctrines and commandments of men who are puffed up and not holding fast to the Head. Christ hates these doctrines and practices as can be seen by what He had to say about the Nicolaitans in the book of Revelation.
6 “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” Revelation 2:6
15 “Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” Revelation 2:16
Jesus Christ hated the deeds and the doctrines of the Nicolaitans because they usurped His doctrine and His commandments, which are life and blessing. Today the church is full of men who have a name for themselves and have scores and scores of followers. They have their own doctrines and practices that they promote, some are new and novel, others have been around from the beginning of the Catholic church and through the Reformation. These doctrines and practices have nothing at all whatsoever to do with a Biblical church founded upon the doctrine that is taught in the Scriptures and the behavior that we are commanded to practice. So Jesus Christ is standing outside of the visible church knocking, knocking, knocking to see if any will answer and let Him in and dine with Him and Him with them. He is calling out individuals to leave the visible church that is lukewarm, poor, pitiful, blind and naked, and come to Him to be clothed with His righteousness, to have their eyes opened by the Holy Spirit, to own the vast riches of the treasures of Christ. To walk with Him and experience His love, affection, wisdom, grace, goodness and direction daily in their lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. The question is do we have the courage and resolve to make that commitment to zealously follow Christ regardless of the ramifications? If we look at the vast numbers of church goers who love their particular men and have little if no room for the love of Christ, the answer isn’t very encouraging. Though none follow, I will follow!
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell I them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18