Dan Sharpe's Bible Studies.


In the third chapter of the Book of Revelation an INTERESTING statement
is made by Jesus as He addresses the church at Laodicea. In Rev 3:15,16 He
makes the following statement;

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I
would thou wert cold or hot. So, then, because you art luke-
warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth."

The words "spew out of my mouth" have long been interpreted on the basis
of a local background. Six miles north, across the plateau, lay the city
of Hierapolis. This city was noted for it's hot-springs, which began in
the city, flowing across the plateau and spilling over a steep slope
directly opposite Laodicea. This hot mineral-laden water flowed across the
plateau, it lost much of it's boiling qualities and became lukewarm as it
spilled over the edge opposite Laodicea. This mineral-laden water was rich
with alum and sulphur. Many a new visitor would try to drink some of it
only to spit it out on the ground. This idea of nausea caused by the condition
of those who belonged to the church is held to by one commentator by the name
of Blaiklock. Moffatt speaks of this condition as "moral nausea roused by
tepid religion".

However, in an important paper, Rudwick and Green hold to the idea that
the adjectives "hot," "cold" ,and "lukewarm" are to be taken as a description
of the spiritual fervor or the lack of it in the people in this church. A far
greater result may have been produced by their condition. As it was said
earlier, the hot-springs of Hierapolis were well known. The aid of these
springs to human suffering by bathing in them was also known. Now still one
other of Laodicea's nearby neighbors must be examined. This was the town of
Colossae. This town was known for its clear cold pure water and its refreshing
effect. With this in mind, a contrast between the medicinal waters of
Hierapolis and the cold, clear, and pure waters of Colossae can be drawn. In
the spiritual sense, Jesus was saying the church was not providing for the
healing of the spiritualy sick nor was it providing refreshment to the
spiritualy weary. In simple terms, the church was not being called out for its
spiritual temperature but for lack of fruits in its work. It was completely
ineffective in its God given tasks. Agreed, this could be, and probably was,
caused by the condition of the individual members and leadership. He indicted
the whole church. One other thing this theory explains is the unusual
statement by Jesus when he said "I would thou wert cold or hot".

One more thing. Please take note of the word "about" as it occurs in
the NIV translation in verse 16. Also please take note of the following
consoling remarks that follow. The honest and true description of their
condition. Those beautiful words "I counsel you" and "As many as I love,
I rebuke and chasten..." and the invitation to "be zealous and repent". Not
one place does the word condemnation or condemn appear but more in a general
sense the word exhort appears in many forms. The message is quite simple:
"You as a church are not where you need to be. Get there while there is still
time. Condemnation will come at sometime if nothing is done. But today THERE
IS STILL TIME TO REPENT." Here we have a loving God seeking to make known,
while there is still time, the serious shortcomings of a group of His
followers. An Almighty God, who spoke the earth and universe into being,
seeking His followers. Please look at all the religions of this world and
take note that the followers are seeking their gods, not their gods seeking
them. INTERESTING difference!!!!!!!

< Author Unknown >