This morning, my Bible plan took me to the first three chapters of Revelation. I’ve read and preached on the words of Jesus to the church at Laodicea many times and have focused on the negatives of our Lord’s words, the rebukes, as it were. This morning my heart was compelled to look at the positive things that Jesus said in this passage of Scripture.
Preachers over the years have taught that this church characterizes the church of the last days prior to the Lord’s return judge the wicked and to set up His kingdom. The church existing in the days prior to the Lord’s return is apostate (2 Thess. 2:7; 2 Timothy 3:1-7) and has placed her trust in riches and materialism. The church has lost her zeal and fervency for the things of the Lord. The church has become worldly. Over the years I’ve focused on these things in my preaching on this passage and rightly so.
Yet the Lord is not finished in His remarks about this church. Jesus continues in Revelation chapter 3, verses 18 and following and communicates His great love for sinners. Jesus says in verse 19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline”. Barnhouse writes, “Yet upon a church that has sunk so low as Laodicea, the risen Lord still showers His love”. What an amazing love!
The challenge for the Bible student when dealing with this passage is to see through the anger of correction dispensed by our holy God, the loving kindnesses, patience, and gentle mercies of our Savior. “Oh how He loves you and me!” He doesn’t banish us from His presence because of our sin, He is willing to forgive and even gives us explicit instructions on what we need to do in order get right with Him.
Here we do not find the King of kings sitting on His throne, ready to deal out retribution; He is standing at the door, gently knocking and calling out for us to open the door and let Him come in. He is even willing to have an intimate meal with us!
Oh how He loves you and me! This isn’t a call to salvation, it’s a call for the believer who has sinned and has drifted from the Lord to be reconciled and restored to fellowship with the One who loves us and died to prove it!