That moment has finally arrived.
Christ has returned, and you stand before him, about receive the final judgement.
Your mind flashes over the events of your life, the choices you made, the people you befriended, the priorities you chose, the habits you established… and you feel a sense of unease.
Christ turns to you and says;
I know your works, that you were neither cold or hot: I wished you were either hot or cold.
Because you were lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spue you out of my mouth.
For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing’, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
Christ spoke these words to the ecclesia of Laodicea.
Out of context, one could be forgiven for thinking that this ecclesia had become subject to some dark and insidious form of Baal worship.
Infact the reality was far from it. Their problem was not immorality, or wrong doctrine, child sacrifice, or some other form of blatantly perverted evil.
The influence that repulsed Christ so much, was materialism.
You see, the Laodiceans lived amongst general prosperity and comfort, and they weren’t in any hurry to oppose it.
Where the Smyrnan’s were thankful to have a loaf of bread on the table, the Laodiceans were complaining about the brand of the coffee they were just served.
Where they suffered persecution at the hands of the Roman authorities, the Laodiceans were each tweaking and squeaking their shiny sports edition cars.
Transplant the Laodiceans to our age, and they would’ve had a rort!
The deafening roar of the crowd as they cheer on the chariots at the Colosseum would be old-school entertainment when compared to the pounding roar of the V8 supercar. Better still, the vision of the elite cars projected onto the living room wall, complete with some ground shaking surround-sound, and popcorn.
The age in which we live has mastered the art of stimulating every sensory. Its offering is far more advanced than the classic Laodicean experience.
An array of indulgences are available; sports, TV, movies, social media, personal devices, food, cars, fashion, careers, houses, not to mention the offerings on the internet.
The indulgence is customised to your unique desire, easily justifiable, and innocent enough.
Such was the experience of the Laodicean. But what of the state of their faith?
Oh don’t worry, they read their Bibles occasionally.
But sadly they could tell you more about the Cricket, than they could tell you about the Prophets.
They had no time to study and meditate on their Bible. Perhaps they were too busy?
They rarely made a personal effort to preach the gospel.
The regular feed of TV and Social Media left the welfare of others untouched.
Indulgence was permissible, and the concept of COMPLETE self sacrifice remained just that – a concept.
There is no question of whether or not we live in a Laodicean age.
The question is whether or not we choose to enjoy the same indulgences, or a life of COMPLETE self sacrifice.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”