Summary of passage: To the church in Laodicea Jesus says he knows the church’s deeds which are only lukewarm or mediocre. They believe they are rich and have everything they need, but they are poor and lacking in God. He wants them to see their spiritual blindness, become righteous, and obtain his riches. Jesus loves them and wants them to repent and choose him and receive eternal life.
13a) True riches are heaven and eternal life with God. White clothing is righteousness–what enables you and me to stand with God–and salvation. When you are clothed in God’s righteousness, you gain His spirit and character which gives you compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12) and love and forgiveness (Colossians 3:13 & 14).
b) He will eat with them and sit with him on his throne.
14a) Discipline by the Lord separates us from the unbelievers and saves us from condemnation with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32). Discipline is what makes us God’s children (Hebrews 12:8). It is for our good and what allows us to share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10). It produces righteousness and peace (Hebrews 12:11). If God didn’t love us, He wouldn’t bother to discipline us, to teach us His ways, to save us.
God invites earnestness and repentance. God looks for love in return for His care; compassion; surrender; a life of love for others.
b) Personal Question. My answer: God loves us enough to discipline us so we’ll turn to Him and walk in His ways. We will gain the world if we do. Gratefulness is the right response. Humbleness. An increased awe of Him. More love and compassion for Him and His people.
Conclusions: Good reminder of the importance and necessity of discipline in all of our lives. Good verses to use to explain to your children when they ask why their punishment is necessary.
End Notes: The Greek word here for love is phileo which means friend (the same word Philadelphia comes from). Earnest here is the same root word as hot used in Revelation 3:16. Turn to Him and be zealous for Him.
Here’s the Great Invitation to us all: Jesus standing at the door and knocking. Only you can open the door and invite him in. Will you?
Listen! And you will hear his voice.
The “dine” or “eat” here was the Greek meal of deipnon, which was the main meal at the end of the day where the family would sit and linger and talk about the day. It was supper where relationships were deepened and strengthened.
The invitation was to all–the individual–not the church here. We each must accept Jesus. Then we will sit on his throne (Luke 22:30; Rev 20:4; 22:5)
Laodicea is the worst of the churches (the only one not praised) promised the greatest reward. This is hope for all of us that despite our sins we are loved and accepted and invited to be with God forever. He pursues us to the end.
Quote of the Week: “It is, in fact, God’s final punishment to leave a man alone.” (Barclay)
Map of Region with Laodicea: https://bleon1.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/38-seven-churches-of-asia.png
Conclusions to Lesson 6: Scholars say Chapters 2 & 3 of Revelation are the most practical in the whole book since Jesus lays out what he expects of churches and thus you and me.
I love the hope throughout. Most people think Revelation is a book of gloom and doom. It’s not. It’s a book of hope and love and salvation and wonderment. It’s Jesus personified meaning we see all of him–his love, his judgment, his salvation, his condemnation. So many times churches nowadays just speak of Jesus as love and ignore the judgment because it’s not politically correct to judge people and sadly Christian’s knowledge of the Bible has shrunken to the point that they don’t understand what true judgment is.
The Book of Revelation should be discussed more and in depth in churches these days. It would go a long way to furthering our knowledge of Him in ways we can’t even imagine.
We have finished studying the letters John wrote to the churches, giving them Christ’s words. We will take a break for the next two lessons and study Acts and Daniel before we jump into the next major section of Revelation which is Christ as judge and his judgments upon man.
Commonalities in the Letters and Patterns:
- Character of Christ