Every week, on Monday, we will have a blog for you with resources for diving deeper into the sermon.
Week three of the In the End series had Pastor Andrew leading us through the letter to the church in Laodicea. The congregation at Laodicea were full of themselves which made them indifferent about God. In this same vein, the main idea of the sermon was that self-sufficiency leaves us with a mediocre desire for God. In areas like the American South, a Christianity that is only fueled by a small desire for God is the norm.
In verses 14 and 15, after Jesus introduces himself as the Amen (meaning truth), the faithful and true witness, and the creator of everything, the church at Laodicea should know that Jesus is right in whatever he is about to say. He calls the church “lukewarm.” The lukewarm life lacks zeal for God. A lukewarm person or church has no passion for Jesus.
In verses 16-17, Jesus points to the heart posture of the church. Because the culture of the city of Laodicea was one of extreme wealth and self-reliance, the church ended up having this same attitude about God. It’s hard to be passionate about God if life convinces us we don’t need him. But Jesus reveals the truth . . .
In verses 17-18, Jesus calls out the church’s blindness. They thought they were rich and needed nothing, but Jesus says that they are mistaken about the truth of their own poverty. Self-sufficiency is a mirage. The world fools us into thinking we have control, but one news report, one phone call, or one misstep and everything could be taken away. Jesus’ words are meant to open their eyes to a false sense of security.
In verses 19-21, Jesus calls the church to be zealous and repent and to open the door at his knocking. For many of us, he is knocking at the door, ready to come in and be the source of our passion and desire. Jesus expects zeal from you because he is zealous for you. We know this because of the cross. Jesus was made poor and shamed on the cross and blind in death, so that we might see clearly his love and the riches he has for us.
So, we, like the church at Laodicea, must repent of self-sufficiency and be zealous for God. We live in an area much like this church in Revelation. It is very easy for us Americans to think we have everything under control when, really, we have nothing under control. We think that we don’t really need anything. but having no felt needs fools us into thinking we have no spiritual ones. We must do whatever we have to do to ignite our zeal for God, because, in the end, lukewarm really means lost.
We have put together a 30-day prayer guide that acts as a devotional to guide your prayer times each day. The Scriptures were selected to follow the themes of the In the End series.
–Alex Nolette (Equip Coordinator/Community Groups)