Page 10 - July 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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he prosperity of Laodicea was   through and through, and condemned
              a result of its favorable trading   them for their lukewarm character; by
        Tlocation in the Lycus valley. It was   that, He meant their lack of zeal and
        a rich and ostentatious city. Its strategic   commitment.  They  went through the
        weakness was its water supply: from the   motions of church activity but would have
        hot springs of Hierapolis six miles away,   found enthusiasm an embarrassment.
        the water was channeled into the city by a   They were more comfortable with
        visible aqueduct. This meant that the city   compromise and a studied neutrality
        was vulnerable to an enemy siege. By the   in spiritual things. Had they been cold,
        time the water arrived, it was lukewarm;   Christ might have warmed them; had
        this, of itself, was insignificant, but it   they been hot, He could have used them
        illustrated the spiritual condition of the   mightily in His service. As it was, He
        church. The manufacture of textiles used   could only condemn them. It was not that
        a special black wool from the local sheep.   they lacked ambition – many of them were
        The city was also known for its medical   successful business people – but their sole
        facilities and the production of various   boast was of physical and material things.
        ointments for ear and eye ailments. These   They were proud of their wealth and had
        features of the city are alluded to in the   become self-content, thinking that they
        letter.                               needed nothing more.
                                                The reality as revealed by Christ was
        Christ’s Authority                    quite different, indeed shocking! He saw
          After the final address to “the angel,”   them as spiritual paupers, completely
        Christ spoke of Himself in a threefold   blind to the things that really mattered,
        way. First, He is the Amen; all of God’s   and naked of any redeeming graces. They
        truth is perfectly seen and confirmed in   were “the poor rich,” so poor because all
        Him. There is no truth outside of Him   they had was money. We would be hard-
        or beyond Him. Second, He is also the   pressed to imagine someone like that –
        faithful and true witness to His Father;   blind, naked, destitute.
        He declared, “He that hath seen me hath
        seen the Father” (Joh 14:9).  The writer   Christ’s Appeal
                                1
        to the Hebrews described Christ as “the   The  Laodiceans knew  all  about  the
        express image of his [the Father’s] person”   value of material gold. Christ appealed
        (Heb 1:3). We tend to think of “Amen” as   to the church to value that which was
        the closing word but, third, Christ is also   more precious, by far, and worth paying
        “the beginning of the creation of God,”   for with their lives – the spiritual riches
        not in time, for He is eternal, but in rank   that are available to those who live
        and honor.                            wholeheartedly for Christ. Yes, there
                                              was a cost involved in terms of sacrificial
        Christ’s Assessment                   living, but these riches would be eternal.
          Christ knew the Laodicean believers   They should clothe themselves with the
        ¹ All Scripture quotations in this article are from   enduring beauty of holiness in Christ-like
        the KJV.                              service (Rev 19:8). They also needed His

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