For years I have read the following scriptures without really understanding them:
To the Church in Laodicea
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
We have a rich heritage of the truths of God. That is a tremendous blessing but it does not make us immune to the attacks of satan.
Because we have the truth we are not immune from the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Self, Satan, and Society still reign in our lives unless we remain ever watchful.
The problem with the Laodicean attitude which is so prevalent in the people of God today is that they have lied to themselves. They said that they were rich and didn’t need anything when the reality was far different. They weren’t rich. They were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.”
I always thought that God was saying that we should wake up so that we could change that situation of being “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.”
In reality, it was all in the attitude of thinking themselves rich and having need of nothing. Our rich heritage has created pride in us as a people. We are proud of what we know. The truths of God that we have inherited truly sets us apart from the world.
(Joh 17:17) Sanctify(separate/set apart) them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
We have so much of the truths of God’s word in us that we truly do look down on the world because they do not understand. We have begun to think that we gained this knowledge by our own efforts of study and diligence, when in reality only by God opening our minds via the Holy Spirit would we have ever understood on our own.
We are proud of the fact that we know all these amazing truths of God’s word that the world cannot understand. But we have forgotten that we as physical human beings, even those of us who have God’s Spirit are in truth, “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.”
Christ’s sacrifice is the only thing that allows us entry into the kingdom.
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
We have forgotten who we are and it has put us to sleep.
Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
We need to be working hard at being more like Christ is and learning to think and react as He does. But even then these are only good things if they constantly remind us that we are NOT rich but in continual, desperate need of a savior. We have never gone a moment – even AFTER we became Christians – when we have not deserved God’s eternal wrath against sin. And our misery is such that we are blinded to our own sins – even now!
We are not really the pinnacles of virtue and wisdom that we like to think we are. God is not lucky to have us attend Sabbath Services and the Holy Days, to keep His laws and pay our tithes. We are really wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
But at no time in our lives, from the cradle to the grave, can we ever say, “We are rich, and have need of nothing.” We know this in our own conscience. Our conscience still daily accuses us that we have “grievously sinned against all the commandments of God, and have never kept any of them, and are still prone always to all evil.”
We confess this with our mouths. But do we confess this in our innermost being? Whether we are new Christians or have been Christians our whole lives, do we still say, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”? Or is our attitude, “I am rich, and have need of nothing.
This is why God so strictly enjoined the Ten Commandments upon us. Not so that we can pat ourselves on the back for our good efforts, but so we may always learn more and more of our sinful nature and so the more earnestly seek forgiveness of sins and righteousness of Christ.
This is exactly what Jesus tells the Laodiceans to do (verse 18): “Buy from me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments that you may be clothed…and anoint your eyes with eye-salve that you may see.”
As long as we stubbornly refuse to confess our poverty, we will never know the riches that are found only in Christ. As long as we continue to take pride in the fig leaves that we have sewn together in the vain attempt to cover our shame, we will never know the white garments that come only from Christ. As long as we clamp our eyes shut while shouting “We see!”, we remain blind and have no part in the tremendous freedom that comes from open eyes.
And this is not a good place to be. Jesus says he will vomit you up. But Jesus is patient, and he pleads with us. It is not enough to simply admit that you are a sinner and then expect the world to deal with it. Rather, Jesus tells us that if we really are poor, naked, and blind then we are to DO something about it. “Buy from me,” he says.
But how do you buy gold and raiment and eye-salve when you are as poor as the Bible says you are?
Isaiah answers this question for us:
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance” (Isa. 55:1-2).
We are anxious and full of worry about the future because we forget that he rose from the dead and is even now sitting at the right hand of God, ruling over all things for the good of the people of God.
Editors Note: Some of the wording and the inspiration for this post came
from an article found online and I want to give credit to that Author and article: