Morning Bible Study
Baptism – Today. Celebration of changed lives.
Play 9/11 Video –
pray for our nation
apostle has been exiled to the island of Patmos where he sees a vision of Jesus walking among lamp
stands. We’ve seen this as a picture of Jesus acting like a priest who would every
day clean, refill, and relight the lamps in the Temple.
These letters are Jesus’ way of cleaning and refilling us, His lamps.
:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things
says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of
– “justice of the people”
John has been writing letters from Jesus to seven of the churches in Asia
Minor, modern Turkey. Laodicea is the
Laodicea was established around 260 BC by Antiochus II Theos and named
after his wife Laodice.
There was a major trade route that ran from the city of Ephesus through the
Lycus River valley. It ran right through
the city of Laodicea.
It is thought that the church was established by Epaphras, who was from
Colossae, 8 miles further up the valley.
Six miles to the north of Laodicea was the city of Hierapolis.
The city became
quite prosperous because of its place on the trade route and because of the
valley’s famous black wool.
a taste for the arts and even
built a great medical school.
The region suffers
from earthquakes. When the city was
destroyed in AD 60 by a giant earthquake, they refused help from Rome and
rebuilt with their own money.
:15 “I know your works,
that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
:15 I know
– eido – to see; to perceive; to know
Jesus has used this phrase (“I know your works”) with each of the seven
churches. He has evaluated each church by the “works” that
You can tell a lot about a person's life by their works, their real works. Not just the works that
people see, but the works that Jesus sees (with His xray vision!)
:16 So then, because
you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
:16 cold nor hot
Hot is being
“on fire” for God. It’s being passionate
The question is what it means to be “cold”.
that “cold” is talking about someone who doesn’t know God.
I prefer to
think of “cold” as “refreshing”.
It’s the contrast with “lukewarm” and the people of Laodicea would understand
something about this – let me explain …
Six miles north of Laodicea, across the valley, is the city of
Hierapolis. Hierapolis was famous
because of its natural mineral hotsprings.
People came to bathe in the hot mineral waters for the health benefits.
:16 you are
Apparently the Laodiceans built an aqueduct across the valley to carry this
hot water from Hierapolis to their city.
When the water got to Laodicea, it was no longer hot. It was lukewarm.
Some things don’t taste so good when they are lukewarm.
tastes great. It’s refreshing
like to drink warm, heated milk to help them sleep at night.
But drink lukewarm
milk that someone forgot to put back in the refrigerator and has been sitting
out on the kitchen counter all afternoon … yuk!
: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—
:17 and have need
the wealthy city that didn’t need help to rebuild after an earthquake.
Jesus is saying that the church might think they have no needs, but they
It’s really sad people don’t realize they have a problem.
That may be funny
when you’re watching American idol, but it’s very, very sad when a believer or
a church has a problem and doesn’t realize it.
: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 of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye
salve, that you may see.
Jesus asks the church to “buy” three things:
:18 gold refined in
Faith from difficulty
I believe the “gold” Jesus is talking about is our faith, our trust in God.
God doesn’t want us to have a shallow faith, but faith that has been
refined and strengthened in difficult times.
God is looking for people who will trust Him during the storms of life.
Ship in Storm videos.
Some of us watch other people go through stormy seas and
it looks pretty bad. Things look a little different when you’re the one on the
Peter and the
other disciples were on the Sea of Galilee during a storm. Jesus came to them walking on water. Peter tried to get out of the boat and walk with Jesus. When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he
began to sink.
Peter wrote later,
(1 Pe 1:6–7 NKJV) —6
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you
have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious
than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise,
honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
We want to run from difficult times, but they are the
things that produce in us the most precious kind of faith, faith that is pure
:18 white garments
Laodicea was famous for black wool, but Jesus tells them to buy white
garments. They think they are well
clothed, but they are not.
It reminds me
of that old story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” where the emperor is tricked into
thinking he is wearing the finest clothes when in fact he is naked.
Laodicea was world famous for their black wool. Jesus asks them to buy “white” clothes instead.
The book of Revelation tells us what these “white clothes” are:
(Re 19:8 NKJV) And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and
bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Jesus is the one who “knows” or “sees” our “works” (vs. 15)
Jesus isn’t looking for us to do good works that impress other people, but
good works that impress Him.
Good works are
those that bring healing and reconciliation
(Mt 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Jesus asks them to put medicine on their eyes so they can see.
This was the
city with a medical school.
For the ancients, the words
for “see” are often translated “know” or “think”.
I think that
Jesus is asking them to change the way they think.
teaches us to “get even” when someone hurts us.
Bible teaches us to forgive.
teaches us to lie and deceive others to get what we want.
Bible teaches us to be honest and truthful in everything we do.
teaches us to look out for ourselves, to make sure that “my needs” are met.
Bible teaches us to put others first and to take care of their needs.
(Pr 16:16 NKJV) How
much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen
rather than silver.
:19 As many as
I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
:19 As many as I
Because Jesus loves the church, there will be times when the church is
When you get
“caught” in a sin, don’t make the mistake of thinking that God hates you and is
looking for a chance to destroy you.
God loves you
enough to stop you from hurting yourself any further.
Jesus is the one
who “knows”, who “sees”. (remember verse 15?)
We might be shocked when a friend is caught in sin, or a marriage fails,
but Jesus isn’t shocked. He knows what’s
what’s going on in our marriages.
Men: Love your wife. Don’t think that just working hard and
bringing home your paycheck is enough for a marriage. Give your time to your wife.
Women: Respect your husband. Encourage your husband.
: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
:20 I stand at the
door and knock
We often think of this verse as Jesus giving an invitation to those who
He is knocking at the door of their hearts and asking to be let into their
And though I think it’s correct to see this addressed to unbelievers, keep
in mind that Jesus is writing this to a church.
There may be people in church this morning who have never allowed Jesus
into their lives.
Let today be the day that you say “yes” to Jesus.
It has been said that the door of your heart only has a doorknob on the
Jesus doesn’t come into a person’s heart without their permission. You have to open the door of your heart. You have to say “yes”.