OR A Closer Look at the Church in Laodicea (Revelations 3:14-22).
So What about Laodicea?
B. W. Johnson states that
"The city of Laodicea was very proud of its wealth in the latter part of the first century, a fact we learn from profane history. The church was probably founded by Epaphras, a companion of Paul. The condemnation of the Lord in this epistle is severe, and its extinction is threatened. The site of the ancient city is uninhabited now, and of course the church has long since ceased to exist." (1)
And This Affects Me...How?
Well, some of the warnings Christ gives His church in Laodicea do also apply quite well to modern day Christian parents (as do all of Christ's words, come to think of it).
I know your works...
No matter the facade we (as Christians) have so carefully cultivated, white-washed, and carry with us, Jesus knows what we're up to. Akin Santa Claus, Christ knows if we are "naughty or nice". He knows if beneath that facade of ardent service in the Sunday School, there is an actual lack of vision for the young people, and the service is just a convenient way to avoid serving in other capacities and stretching oneself past the comfort zone of playing with a bunch of 2-year olds that do not make huge demands on one's spirituality.
...you are neither cold nor hot...
Ah yes, the hobbyist. Yes, this Christian parent owns a Bible, reads the Bible, knows the Bible, but lacks the devotion to its message. Christianity is fit into the schedule at the practitioner's convenience. If the job interferes with the church's Midweek Service schedule, the church looses out. Sunday trips are taken with no regard to Sunday morning Service (even though a couple of hours later, the trip would still have been fun). Yes, the hobbyist schedules Christianity, s/he does not schedule everything else around Christianity.
...you say, 'I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing...
Blessed with material goods, a school system that offers children a guaranteed education, and a church-wide support network that ensures that nobody within its midst goes hungry, homeless, or naked, this Christian has forgotten the source of these blessings. Granted, lip-service is offered at mealtime or at bedtime. Yet, when the plate comes around for the weekly offering, God only gets tips, not a tenth.
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking...
This is an interesting twist! Jesus is speaking to His church, yet He clearly identifies Himself as being outside of this group of believers! Not only does He see Himself as standing outside, He even has the door of the meeting room firmly closed in His face; and as though they wish to add insult to injury, His knocking on the door is not heard! We may safely assume that when Christ knocks He does so loudly and decisively, thus, to not hear Him, one must either be deaf by nature or by design.
A Christian thus inclined must either have been taught such spiritual deafness, and instead of a vibrant personal devotional life s/he relies on the Sunday morning book report from the pulpit, or s/he is so comfortable in her/his sin, that s/he chooses to ignore the loud knocking, effectively drowning out the promptings of the Holy Spirit. This is often seen in the Christian parents who have been "around a while". The initial honeymoon phase of the faith has passed, and now they lean back in their pews, resting on some spiritual laurels of victories gone by, all the while shutting the door of their spirituality to the author and perfector of their faith. All that is the left in the end is a (wo)man-made faith that is of little value to God.
...if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me...
There is hope, but this hope only rests in repentant obedience. So are there some warning signs that a Christian parent may be an "honorary" member of the church in Laodicea? Why, yes there are!
You may be a member of the church in Laodicea if...
...you are the last one to arrive for Sunday morning worship and the first one to leave.
...you (more often than not) do not even show up for Sunday morning worship.
...you are clueless about the daily sins you commit, the hurt they inflict on others, and the pain they cause God.
...you don't give a second thought to the spiritual battles that are raging all around.
...you don't read your Bible daily with zeal (you may not even know where your Bible is right this very moment).
...you are so busy blaming everyone and everything for your problems, that you have forgotten how to take responsibility.
...your apologies start with "if I hurt you..." and contain a large number of "but's".
...you don't serve God's family, or if you do, you only do it when it is convenient or an act of service you like.
...you tip God, because giving sacrificially is something that only "bad" tele-evangelists require of their flocks.
...you don't give a hoot about the lost around you, because if you did, you'd be out there talking about Christ and His message, but instead you have chosen to subscribe to a Christianity that is "non-offensive".
...you think that "evangelism" is a gift given to "some" and you ain't "some".
...you wouldn't be able to point someone else to Christ if they came begging for that information.
...you are offended by this list.
The People's New Testament. (1891); http://www.ccel.org/j/johnson_bw/pnt/PNT...
About Sylvia Cochran
Sylvia Cochran - Christian Parenting Corner and Common Sense Parenting and Parenting By the Book Christian Parenting Book Reviews
Sylvia is a seasoned writer, born and raised in Germany. Having been exposed to a variety of religions and traditions due to travel and study, Sylvia has been a student of the Bible for more than ten years, and has for the last four years taught in small groups about Biblical principles, practical Christianity, Christian parenting, as well as the spiritual use of money. Sylvia also provides Free Online Courses at Suite 101. Sylvia's goal is to provide help and encouragement to raise the next generation of Christ-followers.
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