The Laodicean Church

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

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24 Responses to The Laodicean Church

  1. lyn says:

    It’s getting to the point where the ‘rubber meets the road’; the true sheep of the Lamb will indeed shun all that seek to stray from Scripture, exalt ‘self’, and fleece the flock. Truly we are headed for turbulent times here in America, the false Laodicean church will come up against the remnant who ‘follow the Lamb wherever He goes’.
    Church pulpits are filled with powerless motivational speakers that tickle the ear but leave the conscience unpricked. These wolves have NOT been called by God to preach, they go through seminary, slap an honorary title in front of their name as though that exalts them above the rest of the flock, and proceed to lead astray those who would rather be entertained than transformed. The pulpit is also occupied by cleverly disguised ‘ministers of righteousness’ – 2 Cor. 11:15. Of this text John Gill states ” they put on the form and air of faithful upright ministers of the word, and would be thought to be such; they mimic Gospel preachers, who assert the doctrine of justification by the righteousness of Christ, though they most miserably corrupt it, and blend it with something of their own; and which they endeavour to palliate, and cover from the sight of men. They greatly serve their master, whose ministers they are; and who well knows that the doctrine of works may do much prejudice to the Gospel interest, and churches of Christ, but will never convert nor save one soul: a dreadful character these men have, for though they would pass for ministers of righteousness, friends to holiness, and men zealous of good works, they are no other than ministers of Satan, doing his work, serving his interest, and propagating his kingdom, which is a kingdom of darkness.” How many today fit this description! May God strengthen His flock, and lead us into the way everlasting…

    Liked by 6 people

    • Eliza says:

      Amen! I think every church that I have ever attended has fit the description given by John Gill. This type of minister is rampant within the visible church in America, the world, today. Faithful men of God, filled with His Spirit, called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ are few and far between. Those who do the work of the enemy are numerous and dangerous. There is an individual, who used the 9/11 incident to further his prospects by lying about his upbringing and his salvation. The leadership within the visible church, both Calvary Chapel and the SBC, has knowingly and willingly abetted his deceit and effort to make merchandise of God’s people. Here is a link where you can read about the evil behavior of this man, Ergun Caner, and the support from “Christian” leadership that he received in his deceit.

      https://gsethdunn.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/beyond-johnny-dome-taking-a-right-turn-off-of-the-johnny-hunt-highway/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good piece, Eliza. For just a moment, visualize the first century church as a Christmas tree without any decorations. You’re just looking at God’s wonderful green creation; it’s beautiful. As the centuries passed, the Church of Rome, which became the Roman Catholic Church, added more and more decorations to the tree until the original gospel message became so camouflaged that it was a bit like finding Waldo in those very busy pictures (Forgive me for mixing metaphors). Then Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers like John Calvin and John Wesley came along and “protested” (root word of Protestant) saying enough is enough. They stripped all man’s decorations from the tree and once again admired God’s beautiful undecorated creation. Virtually all the mainline Protestant denominations were formed much like the first century church. But since the early Reformation, those mainline Protestant denominations redecorated the tree reaching a similar level of gospel camouflage today. Some conservative churches have managed to remove most of the decorations once again, but all too often lack the will to really implement the first century church as envisioned by the Apostles. What do you think?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Wally Fry says:

    Eliza

    It’s sad to say, there are many lukewarm Christians as well as lukewarm churches full of them, aren’t there? I am sure Jesus has the same thoughts about that today as He had then, and that is something we should think about and be worried about.

    Great post and blessings to you

    Liked by 2 people

  3. lyn says:

    Eliza,

    I remembered a piece I’d read written by A.W. Pink concerning 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 and todays’ ‘church’, I would like to share it with you and your readers….

    “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and the Devil? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16

    This command is so plain, that it requires no interpreter.
    Righteousness—and wickedness;
    light—and darkness;
    Christ—and the Devil;
    God’s temple—and idols.
    What do they have in common?

    This is a call to godly separation. This passage gives utterance to a Divine exhortation for those belonging to Christ—to hold aloof from all intimate associations with the ungodly. It expressly forbids them entering into alliances with the unconverted. It definitely prohibits the children of God walking arm-in-arm with worldlings. It is an admonition applying to every phase and department of our lives—religious, domestic, social, commercial. And never, perhaps, was there a time when it more needed pressing on Christians, than now. The days in which we are living are marked by the spirit of compromise. On every side we behold unholy mixtures, ungodly alliances, and unequal yokes. Many professing Christians appear to be trying how near to the world they may walk—and yet go to Heaven!

    To Israel, God said, “So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. You must obey all My regulations and be careful to keep My laws, for I, the Lord, am your God!” (Leviticus 18:3-4) And again, “Do not live by the customs of the people whom I will expel before you. It is because they do these terrible things—that I detest them so much!” (Leviticus 20:23) It was for their disregard of these very prohibitions, that Israel brought down upon themselves such severe chastisements.

    God’s call to His people in Babylon is, “Come out of her, My people! Do not take part in her sins!” (Revelation 18:4) No one can be a whole-hearted follower of the Lord Jesus who is, in any way, “yoked” to His enemies!

    “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” This applies first to our religious connections. How many Christians are members of so-called “churches,” where much is going on which they know is at direct variance with the Word of God—either the teaching from the pulpit, the worldly attractions used to draw the ungodly, and the worldly methods employed to finance it, or the constant receiving into its membership of those who give no evidence of having been born again. Believers in Christ who remain in such “churches” are dishonoring their Lord. Should they answer: “Practically all the churches are the same, and were we to resign, what would we do? We must go somewhere on Sundays!” Such language would show they are putting their own interests, before the glory of Christ. It is better to stay at home and read God’s Word—than fellowship with that which His Word condemns! ~ A. W. Pink, from ‘a call to separation’ found at http://www.gracegems.org/Pink2/a_call_to_separation.htm

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eliza says:

      Amen! That is what we do at my house, stay home and read the Word because there is no place of fellowship with other believers where the leadership is not contaminated by the lies of the enemy in some form or fashion. Praise God for opening our eyes to the truth. God bless you:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • lyn says:

        Yes, many of us worship in our homes because ‘Ichabod’ has been written on the doors of the churches.
        I believe this sermon by Dr. Paul Elliott addresses the problem very biblically – http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopupvideo.asp?SID=713142333594

        May God’s richest blessings be upon you as well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Eliza says:

          I have been encouraged both by his writings, sermons, and when speaking with him on the phone (just once, I called to order something and was surprised when he answered, but he was so kind and caring:). He is a godly man and desirous for God’s glory and no compromise in the church. Thank you for your encouragement. Although it is a sad commentary, it is helpful to know that others would rather stay home to worship the Lord then to lend their support to the compromise, apostasy and error that is endemic in the church. God bless you:)

          Liked by 3 people

  4. It is with brokenness and sadness that I read this and agree. The question becomes, “what are we to do?”

    The words of Isaiah 58:1 come to mind. Unfortunately, there is also a recent push (at least on-line) for many Yellers who may be authorities on spiritual things but have no spiritual authority. So I thank God for Eliza and brothers and sisters like her who shine a light.

    If I could take this forum to beseech all who read this to be constant in prayer. Pray for these dead churches. Pray for your brothers and sisters lost inside. Go after the one – even if it means leaving the 99. And I am not going to implore you to do it with love, for you already have that. If the power of the Holy Spirit rules your life – than everything you do and say is with love. God bless you and your family. May He meet every need and fill your house with Love.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Eliza says:

    Thank you for reading and sharing your loving concern for those who are being deceived. God bless you:)

    Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou see not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou take no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou see the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 58:1-14

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Eliza says:

    Dear Sherry thank you for reading and reblogging this post. God bless you:)

    Like

  7. Eliza, I’m saddened by all this! It’s clear to see especially at this time of year when “Lent” is promoted. I left the Catholic Church but it followed me. I’m heartbroken because it’s not as it was when I was saved so simply, to believe, love His Word, and fellowship. But, too, I know that the Lord is grreater than any problem we see. Greater is He that is within you, the Word says.
    You wrote:
    “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.”
    That better way includes scarves on the Communion table, window dressings, giving to the library fund as missions, having so-called pictures of the Lord on our bulletins. I don’t want to be angry at others but to let them know all the foolish things like this are just taking their focus off of the Lord and His Word. There is no better way of doing church than just doing those things He told us to, praying, preaching, loving, giving, breaking bread together.
    God bless you for posting this – in His love,
    Maria

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Eliza says:

    Thank you Maria, I appreciate what you have shared here. The days are becoming exceedingly dark and ominous. The apostasy in the church supports the corruption of our society, which then works overtime through the enemy to attack and destroy the family, and this attack is subtly taking place within the church because it rejects Christ! Christ is our only refuge. He is our strong tower in the time of trouble. We desperately need to rely on and rest in Him, and we must fellowship with our genuine brothers and sisters for mutual edification and loving encouragement. This used to occur in the local body that attended the neighborhood church building, but that is hardly the case today. It is so utterly sad and distressing. I pray the Lord returns soon for His beloved bride. Even so come Lord Jesus! God bless you:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eliza, this change of having no godly local assembly will mean we will have to walk in obedience to a greater degree, staying closer to the Lord and knowing His Word far better. We will still find fellowship, is my hope, and you can see this fellowship here. God bless you too!
      Maria

      Liked by 2 people

  9. The public school system has become a “church” for secular humanism. Martin Luther offered this powerful observation, “I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every institution that does not unceasingly pursue the study of God’s Word becomes corrupt…I greatly fear that the [schools], unless they teach the Holy Scriptures diligently and impress them on the young students, are wide gates to Hell.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Eliza says:

      Regrettably, this is occurring within the church more and more, studying man’s work rather than the Bible, so that we have the abomination where the Presbyterian Church USA has accepted homosexual marriage.

      Liked by 2 people

      • A passage in my book considers the controversy over American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism exists, because God is exceptional, not because Americans are exceptional. Like the ancient Israelites, as long as we–as a culture–looked to God as the source of everything, we were blessed and protected beyond belief. As the American culture has drifted away from God in recent decades His hand of blessing and protection have been withdrawn. We are reaping the tragic harvest of the poor rebellious seeds we have sown. What do you think?

        Like

        • Eliza says:

          Thank you Lloyd for your comment. This has occurred because the visible church has thrown off faith in God, His Son, and His Word. We are reaping what has been sown by false professors within the visible church. God bless us.

          Liked by 1 person

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