Locking Out The Lord In Laodicea

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

 

An embarrassed member told the Pastor at the end of the service, “I hope you didn’t take it personally when my husband got up and walked out of Church today.” The Pastor said “I didn’t take it personally, but it was a little distracting.”She said“It wasn’t out of disrespect to you. Fred has been walking in his sleep since he was a child.”

I hope everyone here today is wide awake and listening to the Lord. I remember several years ago I preached from the text:

Ephesians 5:14-17 (KJV)  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  [15]  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,  [16]  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  [17]  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

As I preached the text I shouted “wake up”. One of those listening thought I was talking about his mother who, on medication, often drifted off to sleep during the services. I had no idea she did, but her son thought I was picking on his momma (for he was a momma’s boy) and he read me the riot act later. He carried a grudge against me until he and his “superior” family left the Church to go haunt another Pastor. But I digress.

I pray you are all attentive to this message. I pray you are not asleep, or if you sleep, that you not sleepwalk. Jesus said:

Behold, LOOK. LISTEN. Pay attention to Me.
I stand at the door and knock: I am locked out of the Church. Let Me in!
if any man hear my voice,
I need someone – anyone – to hear My cries
and open the door,
Yes, open the door
I will come in to him and sup with him,
we will fellowship TOGETHER
and he with Me.”

Jesus is LOCKED OUT. Who locked Him out? Was it the honky tonk or bar down the street? Was it a crack house, or a show girl den? Was it a liquor store? It was none of these places. The words that you read today are Christ’s Word TO HIS CHURCH. His Church has locked Him out.

This Church is Laodicea.

Laodiceastands in stark contrast to Philadelphia, a Church we learned of last Sunday. Jesus had nothing but praise for Philadelphia, a Church that loved Him and one another. But you can find no praise for Laodicea in our text. Philadelphia had little strength but a BIG GOD. But Laodicea has great strength but only a little god.

How Does A Church Become Laodicean? It Forgets Who Jesus Is

Revelation 3:14 (KJV) And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

When Jesus spoke to Philadelphia He revealed three things about Himself:

Revelation 3:7 (KJV)  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saithhe that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, …

Jesus is HOLY, sinless, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
Jesus is TRUE, and His Word is TRUTH.
Jesus has the KEY OF DAVID. He is the Covenant of God to us.

Now Jesus reveals three things about Himself to the Laodicean Church.

aJesus Said He Is The AMENOf God.

These things saith THE AMEN”

The word AMEN is the same in the Hebrew, the Greek, and the English. It means “This is Truth, So Be It”.It is a VERBAL AFFIRMATION of what is true. When Jesus walked this earth teaching the truths of God that …

Matthew 7:28-29 …. the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Jesus did not waffle. He said “This is what God has said”. When He spoke He did not do so with hesitation, but stood up against the wrongs of His day with the rights of God. This irritated the Pharisees, who asked:

Matthew 21:23 … By WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

If Jesus was a Rabbi, a Master Teacher, then WHO was His Master? Who stood above Him showing Him this way? Jesus had no one showing Him the way, for Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes unto God the Father but by HIM.He is the Amen of God. What He says is true. His Word has proved itself over and over.

When people brought the demon possessed to Jesus He said

Hold thy peace and come out of him!”

and the demon left. The Pharisees, puzzled, asked:

Mark 1:27 …. What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

Why is that? Christ is the Amen of God. When He taught, He taught the truths of God because He IS God! When Jesus spoke truths He often said (in our King James texts):

Verily, Verily, I say unto you!

I love the King James, but that word is not VERILY. It is literally AMEN. Jesus said AMEN, AMEN, I say unto you.

To Nicodemus, a man who thought he was right with God because he studied God in the Seminary and had advanced degrees, our Lord said:

John 3:3-7 …. AMEN, AMEN, I SAY UNTO THEE, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, AMEN, AMEN, I SAY UNTO THEE, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

When the Pharisees sought to hurt Jesus because He healed on the Sabbath dayour Lord said:

John 5:19 AMEN, AMEN, I SAY UNTO YOU, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

When greedy followers sought food rather than Him as the Manna of Godour Lord told them:

John 6:26-27 AMEN, AMEN, I SAY UNTO YOU, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

When the Pharisees – mostly pretend believers in God – justified their sinfulness by declaring they were born in the Church(“we are ABRAHAM’s seed”) our Lord Jesus told them:

John 8:34-37 AMEN, AMEN, I SAY UNTO YOU, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Jesus is the AMEN of God. What He says is always true. Laodicea compromised His Word – what He clearly said – and in so doing locked Jesus out of the Church. People are always saying to me “if I don’t compromisewith my unbelieving friend, or my friend that believes in others gods, then I will offendthem”.

Who would you rather offend: your friend or the Friend you have in Jesus?

bJesus Said He Is “The Faithful And True Witness”.Jesus Christ is the REVEALER OF GOD’S TRUTH. Phillip asked Jesus one day “show us the Father and we will be satisfied”. Jesus told His disciples:

John 14:9-11 …. Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

Jesus Christ is the ONLY MEDIATOR between God and Man. The Bible declares this without one blush. The Scripture says:

1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Jesus alone was sent to be the Mediator – the Go To between God and man. Jesus alone paid the penalty for sin, and therefore earned the right to be that Mediator. We are told in Hebrews that Jesus Christ …

Hebrews 8:6 … is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

Hebrews 9:15 ….. is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 12:24-25 …. the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Do other religions know there is a God? I am sure they do, but they are not the Mediator to God. There is but one Way to God, and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

cJesus Said He Is THE Beginning Of THE Creation Of God. Jesus Christ is not only Creator God, He is the Creator of a New Race of People, the Family of God. We who have believed in Him are declaredadopted Children of God.

God gave His Only Begotten Son so that He could make more Sons. God made us in His image in the Garden, but we marred that image by sin. When the devil came to Eve and said “God wants to keep you from being like Him”both Adam and Eve should have replied, “We are already in the image of God”. God made us to be like Him, and we unmade ourselves by sin. Yet when we come to Him Who is the Amen of God, when we believe on Him Who is Faithful and True, then God:

Colossians 1:13-14 … delivers us from the power of darkness, and hath translates us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins …

Romans 8:14-15 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

What a glorious thing it is to be the adopted sons of God!

The Laodiceans locked Jesus out by fabricating a Jesus and teaching other people this fabrication. They took the Lion of Judah and turned Him into a stuffed lion fit only for children to play with. Many Churches in our world today are Laodicean because they do not receive the Christ of Scripture, but have built their own Jesus like you build a Mr Potato Head doll.Jesus – the Biblical Jesus – is Who we must follow!

Jesus Can Impact A Hot Or Cold Church – But Lukewarmness NO

Revelation 3:15-16 (KJV)  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  [16]  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Jesus knew the works of Laodicea, just as He knows the works of every Church. But it was just going through the motions. It was neither hot nor cold.

One of the Pastors I love to follow is a man by the name of Francis Chan. He wrote a bestselling book called Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God. In his book Francis defined lukewarm Christians. Listen to this:

Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church … as long as their giving doesn’t impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it’s easy and safe to give, they do so.

Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives.

Lukewarm people are moved by stories of people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for “extreme” Christians, not average ones.

Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their hearts, soul and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn’t really possible for the average person; it’s only for the pastors and missionaries and radicals.

Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return, like family, friends, and other people they know and connect with. There is little love left over for those who cannot love them back, much less for those who intentionally slight them, whose kids are better athletes than theirs, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached.

Lukewarm people think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven. Daily life is mostly focused on today’s to-do list, this week’s schedule, and next month’s vacation. Rarely, if ever, do they intently consider the life to come.”

Jesus doesn’t call us to be lukewarm, but on fire for Him. John the Baptist said of Christ:

Luke 3:16 (KJV)  John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Where Jesus is, there is passion and love. There is fire and light. The Laodiceans found substitutes for their passion for Jesus in the things of the world:

Revelation 3:17 (KJV)  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

They thought all was well because they had a full bank account and were not hungry nor in need. This is a perfect picture of many Churches in America today. “We are increased with goods, and have need of nothing”. Jesus told His Church:

Revelation 3:18 (KJV)  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

There is a better gold than that yellow stuff the everyone chases after. That gold is the life well lived in Christ. When you approach the end of your days you will not be blessed by the amount of money you have in your bank account. The richest billionaire facing eternity would give all he has to have one more day of life.

We have eternal life in Christ.
Seek Him. Love Him.
He will clothe you for Heaven.
He will cover the nakedness of your sin.
He will walk with you, and never leave you.
He will open your eyes to see …

Jesus loved the Laodiceans though they did not love Him. He told them:

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Jesus loved Laodicea, just as He loves every Church.
What makes a Church rich is that it is rich in Christ.

A little boy walked down the beach and saw a woman sitting under a beach umbrella. He walked up to her and asked:

Are you a Christian?”

She said “Why, yes I am”. The little boy asked:

Do you read your Bible every day?”

She said “Why yes I do honey. Every single day.”The little boy asked:

Do you talk to Jesus often?”

She smiled and said “Oh yes. I love Jesus, and He loves me. We talk every day.”The little boy then asked:

Do you mind holding on to my quarter while I go swimming?”

What a blessing it is to be in Christ Jesus, in love with Him. You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill.

Revelation 3:20-21 (KJV)  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  [21]  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

We will rule and reign with Him in glory. Let Him rule and reign in US right now! May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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