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“Laodicea pt. # 3”
by Art Sadlier   
January 13th, 2008

In our study of LAODICEA we have contrastd Laodicea with Philadelphia. Today we want to see a dual challenge to these churches.
THE FIRST CHALLENGE is to the unsaved in Laodicea. Our Lord says in vs.20, "Behold I stand at the door and knock."

In St. Paul's Cathedral there is a picture by Holman Hunt, Christ is pictured standing at a door and knocking. A man viewing the painting said out loud, "There is no handle on the door." A little boy turned to him and said, "The handle is on the inside, Sir." Unsaved friend, today Christ is knocking on the door of your heart, He wants to save you from Sin and Death and Hell, but, the handle is on the inside - you will never be saved until and unless you open the door of your heart and life to Christ and invite Him to come in and be your Savior and Lord. Will you let Him in? "If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in.."

Laodicea is an Evangelical Church that is largely unsaved and doesn't know it. (Mt. 7:21-23)

THE SECOND CHALLENGE is to those in Laodicea who are true believers. (vs.21) "To him that overcometh" The contrast between genuine believers and pseudo believers is commitment or lack of commitment. It is not a one-time thing!

We see what commitment is in Mt.8:23 "and when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him." They began following Him that day! They followed Him, and they followed Him, and they followed Him. They followed Him in the boat. They followed Him to the mountainside, they followed Him in the desert and hills of Galilee. Following Christ became the supreme occupation of their lives. It was not temporary, it was not a passing fancy, it was not on again and off again, on again. It was a life-long pursuit!

A single touch of a gentle hand,

A single word of a winsome voice,

And fishermen turned from sea to land

To follow a stranger by willing choice:

They left their nets by the sunlit Sea

To walk the deserts of Galilee.

The Master led them by dusty ways,

And over the lonely mountain heights;

The sun beat hot through the lifeless days,

And the crowds pressed close through the long drawn nights;

They were bond slaves now,

But they ne'er turned back to their nets by the sea.

They were left alone but they still pressed on,

E'en as He said - to the distant lands,

Yea, on and on, 'til their strength was gone,

And they sank to die in the desert sands:

Ah they never forgot blest Galilee,

And the call of His voice by the sunlit sea.

We can translate their commitment into our contemporary Laodicean Day. Other commitments didn't keep them from the Sunday School Hour, the Sunday Evening Service, the Prayer Meeting. Other commitments didn't keep them from serving the Lord nor time in God's Word, nor witnessing to others.

Their commitment wasn't a flash in the pan. It was a lifelong commitment " And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed Him." (Lu.5:11) They were not lukewarm, they were boiling hot and they never cooled off!

WE ARE LIVING IN A CRISIS HOUR FOR THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH. 1 Chron. 12:32 says "And the children of Issachar, who were men who had understandings of the times," -- the great need of the hour is that God's people may have "understanding of the times" Four of the 7 churches of Revelation 2 & 3 are found in the world today!

THYATIRA (THE R.C.Church) had its ERA of Ascendency. Now, it no longer totally dominates Christendom, but even in its decline, Rome continues in the world today. It will continue in its apostate condition until the end of the Age to go into the Tribulation Period as a part of the Harlot Church.

SARDIS (The Reformation Church) Mainline Protestantism, the Nation State Churches. The day of Sardis is past, but she also continues in the world in apostasy and will also go into the Tribulation Period as a part of the Harlot Church.

PHILADELPHIA ( Fundamentalism) The Church of Revival, and Brotherly Love, the Missionary Church. It too has seen its ERA of influence pass into history, but it is still present in the world with its characteristics unchanged. It is operating below the world's radar screen, weak, small and poor in the eyes of the world, but great in the sight of God. It will be caught up in the Rapture as promised by Christ in Rev. 3:10.

LAODICEA (Evangelicalism) the last church of the Church Age is now upon the scene, Laodicea is living out its day. At the present time it is in the ascendency. It will end in apostasy and go into the Tribulation Period to become a part of the Harlot Church. So we now, today, have four churches on the World Scene. I suggest to you that both Philadelphia and Laodicea are found within Fundamental/Evangelicalism. There is a division in the Evangelical Church of the present hour. It is a division not easily detected by the natural eye.

Almost imperceptibly there are two streams flowing in Evangelicalism. One is Philadelphian, the other is Laodicean. Outwardly for some, it is hard to detect the difference. Both hold basically to the same doctrine, both practice many right things.
The real difference is inward, LAODICEA is proud, puffed up in spirit, seeking the world's approval. PHILADELPHIA is humble, poor in spirit and seeks the Lord'a approval.

LAODICEA (verse 17) "Thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing"

PHILADELPHIA (verse 8) "Thou hast little strength" or in the words of Paul, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal. 6:14)

What a contrast! The real ultimate difference is that Laodicea is "Lukearm". While Philadelphia is "Boiling Hot." That sums it all up! The moment any Evangelical Church becomes lukewarm, the moment it loses its "Red Hot Passion for Christ", that church becomes Laodicean.

The moment an Evangelical Church becomes Laodicean it starts down the long road that will eventually end in Apostasy. That's why the Lord challenged the Church of Philadelphia, "Hold fast that which thou hast." Don't lose your zeal for the Lord! Don't lose your passionate love for Christ! Don't cool off, stay Boiling Hot!

Remember, he had no good thing to say about Laodicea and he no bad things to say about Philadelphia.

I remind you that there are five marks every Philadelphian Church has. Do you have them? Does your church have them?

2. They have a deep love for God's Word, a love that moves them, to obey it.

3. They passionately love the Name of Jesus.

4. They have a great love for the lost.

5. They love His appearing. The expectation of His soon coming, purifies their lives.

We have now completed our Study of the Letters to the Seven Churches. We looked at Rev.3:10-22 in the study entitled, "Seven Wonderful Promises."

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